HealthDay News — A short interpregnancy interval after termination of pregnancy is associated with increased risk of preterm birth in subsequent birth, according to a study published in the February issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Jaana Männistö, MD, from the University Hospital of Oulu in Finland, and colleagues conducted a register-based study involving 19,894 women who underwent termination of pregnancy between 2000 and 2009 and whose subsequent pregnancy ended in live singleton delivery. The authors categorized the women into five groups based on the interval between termination of pregnancy and subsequent conception: less than six months, six to less than 12 months, 12 to less than 18 months, 18 to less than 24 months, and 24 months or longer. 

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The researchers found that the rate of preterm birth differed significantly between the group with the interpregnancy interval less than six months and the reference group of 18 to less than 24 months (5.6 versus 4.0%; P=0.008). An interpregnancy interval of less than six months correlated with significantly increased risk of preterm birth after adjustment for nine background factors (adjusted odds ratio, 1.35; 95% confidence interval, 1.02 to 1.77). No correlations were seen for longer interpregnancy interval groups or for any other adverse events.

“These data emphasize the need for prompt initiation of effective contraception after termination and enable counseling the patient for optimal conception interval,” the authors write.

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