The postnatal morbidity associated with second-trimester miscarriage

We assessed complications in women with second trimester pregnancy loss. Their management is complicated by high rates of morbidity requiring medical intervention. Awareness of these risks should inform clinical practice.

Aoife Morris, Sarah Meaney, Niamh Spillane, Keelin O'Donoghue
Journal Name
The Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine
Journal Article
Second-trimester miscarriage
Full Citation
Morris A, Meaney S, Spillane N, O’Donoghue K. The postnatal morbidity associated with second-trimester miscarriage. The Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine. 2016;29(17):2786-2790.
Link to Publication


This study aimed to describe the complications and the frequency of complications occurring that are associated with caring for women who experience second trimester pregnancy loss. A retrospective study was undertaken in a large university hospital with approximately 8,500 deliveries per year. All cases of pregnancy loss occurring between 14+0 and 23+6 weeks’ gestation were identified from July 2009 to June 2013. Medical notes for the 181 study participants were reviewed and the number of complications experienced by these women was identified. An analysis was done to assess associations with clinical presentation and management. The mean gestation of loss was 18+2 weeks’ gestation. The majority (64.6%) of the pregnancy losses were stillbirths, with 17.7% of pregnancy losses occurring following preterm premature rupture of membranes (PPROM) and 17.7% following preterm labour (PTL). All women required inpatient admission and 59.1% required medical induction of labour. Women with PPROM cases, had increased odds of requiring antibiotic therapy and readmission. These women represent a small proportion of the total number of pregnant women but they remain a distinct group whose management is complicated by high rates of complications requiring medical intervention. Healthcare professionals need to be aware of these risks.

Pregnancy Loss Research Group

Pregnancy Loss Research Group, Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, University College Cork, Fifth Floor, Cork University Maternity Hospital, Wilton, Cork, T12 YE02, Ireland,