Repeat induction of labour for post-term pregnancy

George Ashton, Sohinee Bhattacharya, Ashalatha Shetty

Research output: Contribution to journalAbstractpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: A previous post-term pregnancy is thought to influence the gestation of a subsequent pregnancy. Adverse maternal and perinatal outcomes are associated with post-term pregnancy and routine induction of labour by 42+0 weeks is advised to reduce these complications.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the recurrence rate of a post-term pregnancy and the need for repeat induction of labour.

METHODS: This observational cohort study featured women with a first and second singleton pregnancy, based on data recorded in the Aberdeen Maternity and Neonatal Databank (1986-2012). Term and post-term pregnancies were defined as ≥37+0 - 40+6 and ≥41+0  weeks, respectively. The exposure was a post-term pregnancy and the control a term pregnancy. Logistic regression was used to assess post-term recurrence and repeat induction of labour.

RESULTS: The study population consisted of 25,669 women with 33% of the women delivering post-term in their first pregnancy. In these women, the rate of a subsequent post-term pregnancy was 35.7% compared to 18.6% for women with an initial term pregnancy (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 2.27, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2.11-2.44). Compared to women who had spontaneous term deliveries in both pregnancies, women who were induced post-term in the second pregnancy had increased odds of having been induced post-term in their first pregnancy. The adjusted odds ratio was found to be 6.08 (95% CI 5.30-6.98).

CONCLUSIONS: Women with a first post-term pregnancy are less likely to labour spontaneously and more likely to have a second post-term pregnancy with a higher risk of repeat induction of labour, than women who have previously delivered at term. These findings could be useful in the counselling of women with a previous post-term pregnancy. Given that these women are less likely to labour spontaneously, the offer of an elective induction could also be considered to potentially improve maternal and perinatal outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)724
Number of pages1
JournalJournal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Issue number5
Early online date26 Jun 2018
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018


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