Abortion rate drops as more Czechs plan parenthood

Illustrative photo: Pixabay

The number of induced abortions in the Czech Republic has dropped by nearly 20 percent over the past five years. While in 2014, the Institute of Health Information and Statistics recorded a little below 22,000 induced abortions, last year it was only 18,300. One of the reasons is that an increasing number of Czechs are planning their parenthood.

Illustrative photo: Pixabay
While the abortion rate in the Czech Republic has been gradually falling over the past five years, spontaneous abortions are on the rise, as the age of first-time mothers keeps increasing. At the moment the average age of Czech women at first child-birth is around 30, and 20 percent of first-time mothers give birth after the age of 35.

There are around 14, 000 silent miscarriages and spontaneous abortions recorded in the Czech Republic each year, and according to experts, their number is likely to increase in the future, due to the growing age of first-time mothers.

Vladimír Dvořák is the head Czech Gynaecological and Obstetrical Society:

“The most common reason behind such abortions is that the foetus is not capable of further development. At a certain phase, it stops developing and is aborted.

“Less frequent causes are some serious health problems of the mother or the effect of some pollutants, but these cases are quite rare.”

According to Pavel Calda from the Gynaecology and Obstetrics Department of the General University Hospital in Prague, up to 20 percent of diagnosed pregnancies actually end during the first 12 to 13 weeks. However, complications are much more common in older mothers:

“The older the woman, the higher the occurrence of some chromosomal problems, linked to the embryotic division. Women at the age of 40 face a one-percent risk of some chromosomal abnormality.

“That is quite a high number and it explains some of the spontaneous abortions during the first months of pregnancy.”

Illustrative photo: archive of Radio Prague International
While spontaneous abortions are on the rise, induced abortions have been decreasing. Last year, some 18,300 Czech women decided to end their pregnancy, which is nearly 4,000 less than five years ago.

Most women who decide to deal with unwanted pregnancies are in their 20s or 30s, while induced abortions in teenage girls are quite rare, says Mr Calda.

“We have a problem with women in their late thirties, who tend to think the problem doesn’t concern them any longer. But even they can unexpectedly get pregnant.

“They need to be reminded of this fact and they have to take necessary precautions, if they don’t want to deal with unwanted pregnancy.”

Doctor Calda notes that while the Czech abortion rate keeps dropping, so does the number of childbirths. As a result, the Czech population keeps ageing.

According to 2018 data from the Czech Statistical Office, the number of children per woman of reproductive age is currently 1.7. To ensure the replacement of the current population, Czech women should have at least two children.