Risk of preterm birth after prior term cesarean

L. Visser*, C. Slaager, B. M. Kazemier, A. L. Rietveld, M. A. Oudijk, C. J.M. de Groot, B. W. Mol, M. A. de Boer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
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Objective: To determine the risk of overall preterm birth (PTB) and spontaneous PTB in a pregnancy after a caesarean section (CS) at term. Design: Longitudinal linked national cohort study. Setting: The Dutch Perinatal Registry (1999–2009). Population: 268 495 women with two subsequent singleton pregnancies were identified. Methods: A cohort study based on linked registered data from two subsequent pregnancies in the Netherlands. Main outcome measures: The incidence of overall PTB and spontaneous PTB with subgroup analysis on gestational age at first delivery and type of CS (planned or unplanned). Results: Of 268 495 women with a singleton first pregnancy who delivered at term, 15.76% (n = 42 328) had a CS. The incidence of PTB in the second pregnancy was 2.79% (n = 1182) in women with a previous CS versus 2.46% (n = 5570) in women with a previous vaginal delivery (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 1.14, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.07–1.21). This increased risk is mainly driven by an increased risk of spontaneous PTB after previous CS at term (aOR 1.50, 95% CI 1.38–1.70). Analysis for type of CS compared with vaginal delivery showed an aOR on spontaneous PTB of 1.86 (95% CI 1.58–2.18) for planned CS and an aOR of 1.40 (95% CI 1.24–1.58) for unplanned CS. Conclusions: CS at term is associated with a marginally increased risk of spontaneous PTB in a subsequent pregnancy. Tweetable abstract: Caesarean section at term is associated with a marginally increased risk of spontaneous PTB in a subsequent pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)610-617
Number of pages8
JournalBJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Issue number5
Early online date24 Feb 2020
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020


  • Caesarean section
  • mode of delivery
  • preterm birth
  • risk factor
  • spontaneous preterm birth
  • Humans
  • Risk
  • Gestational Age
  • Incidence
  • Pregnancy
  • Cesarean Section
  • Delivery, Obstetric
  • Premature Birth/epidemiology
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Registries
  • Netherlands/epidemiology
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Cohort Studies
  • Term Birth


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