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No Increased Risk Seen for Pregnancies Conceived Within Year of Stillbirth

Conception within 12 months of stillbirth common, not linked to increased risk for adverse outcomes

WEDNESDAY, March 6, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Conception within 12 months of a stillbirth is common and is not associated with an increased risk for adverse pregnancy outcomes, according to a study published online Feb. 28 in The Lancet.

Annette K. Regan, Ph.D., from Curtin University in Perth, Australia, and colleagues used data from birth records in Finland, Norway, and Western Australia to examine the correlation between the interpregnancy interval after stillbirth and birth outcomes in a subsequent pregnancy. Data were included for consecutive singleton pregnancies in women whose most recent pregnancy ended in stillbirth of at least 22 weeks of gestation.

The researchers identified 14,452 births in women who had a stillbirth in the previous pregnancy; the median interpregnancy interval was nine months after stillbirth. Overall, 63 percent of women conceived within 12 months of stillbirth. Of the 14,452 births, 2, 18, and 9 percent were stillbirths, preterm births, and small-for-gestational-age births, respectively. Intervals shorter than 12 months were not associated with increased odds of subsequent stillbirth, preterm birth, or small-for-gestational-age births compared with an interpregnancy interval of 24 to 59 months. There was no difference in the correlation between interpregnancy interval and birth outcomes based on gestational length of the previous stillbirth.

“These findings could be used when counselling families that are planning future pregnancies after a stillbirth and provide reassurance to women who wish to become pregnant or unexpectedly become pregnant shortly after a stillbirth,” the authors write.

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