PSYCHOPATHOLOGY EXPERIENCED IN PREGNANCY LOSS: DOES POST ABORTION SYNDROME EXIST?
Ng Kah Wee, Jintana Tang, Helen Chen
Objective: Pregnancy loss is associated with numerous psychological sequelae. The aim of this study is to examine patients with recent pregnancy loss for possible psychiatric diagnoses and the associated psychopathology. Features of post abortion syndrome were also examined for. Methods: Forty seven patients referred to a perinatal psychiatric service following recent termination of pregnancy or miscarriage consented for this prospective case notes review. Data on demographic characteristics, clinical history and management was collected, as well as detailed case histories of women diagnosed with post-abortion syndrome. Results: About two-thirds were between ages 31 to 40 years. Majority (87.2%) was married and childless. Seventy percent did not have previous psychiatric history. Ten patients were suspected to have post abortion syndrome, presenting with guilt, self-blame and having to hide terminations from spouses. Discussion: These findings describe the characteristics of patients who are at risk of developing psychiatric conditions after pregnancy loss. Surveillance for such factors may enable earlier detection and diagnosis.