Objective: To assess the effect of having a placental abruption on 1. the probability of having further pregnancies, and 2. the rate of recurrence in such pregnancies.
Design: A cohort study based on the Medical Birth Registry of Norway.
Results: From 1967 to 1989, placental abruption occurred in 218/4951 subsequent deliveries after a placental abruption index case. After placental abruption with perinatal survival in the first delivery 59% of women had a further delivery, compared with 71% who did not have placental abruption at delivery. After a perinatal loss corresponding rates were 83% and 85%, respectively. Odds ratios of recurrence of abruption, crude and adjusted for maternal age, birth order and time period were 7.1 and 6.4, respectively. No secular trends were found. Caesarean section rates increased and were higher in pregnancies with recurrent placental abruption and in subsequent pregnancies without placental abruption than in the total birth population.
Conclusions: Women who have placental abruption are less likely than other women to have another pregnancy. For women who do have subsequent pregnancies placental abruption occurs significantly more frequently.