Timing of suicide attempts by self-poisoning during pregnancy and pregnancy outcomes

A. E. Czeizel, L. Tímár, É Susánszky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: The purpose of this study was to examine the timing and consequences of suicide attempts by self-poisoning during pregnancy. Methods: A population-based prospective study was organised in the toxicological in- patient hospital in Budapest which is responsible for health services for adult inhabitants poisoned by ingesting chemicals in Budapest and the surrounding area involving 3 million people between 1985 and 1993. All women aged between 16 and 50 years (22969) who were admitted to the study hospital due to suicide attempts by drug ingestion were examined by a sensitive serum pregnancy test. Results: Of 559 self-poisoned pregnant women, two died. The peak period of suicide attempts was found to be in the first postconceptual month and its majority resulted in a very early fetal loss. The second highest figure was recorded in the second postconceptual month. Thus, 61% of suicide attempts occurred before the third postconceptual month. Later pregnancies had a significantly lower proportion of attempting suicide parallel with advanced fetal development. Conclusions: Most suicide attempts by self-poisoning occurred after the early recognition of unwanted pregnancies and most resulted in a very early fetal loss. Pregnancies with advanced gestation months had a significantly lower proportion of attempting suicide.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-45
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics
Volume65
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 1999

Keywords

  • Pregnancy
  • Self-poisoning
  • Suicide
  • Very early fetal loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology

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