When Should We Induce a Normal Post-Term Pregnancy - 42 Weeks, 41 Weeks or Earlier?

Jouko Pirhonen

University Hospital of North Norway, Norway

Dr. Jouko Pirhonen, University Hospital of North Norway, Norway.

Keywords: Pregnancy; Neonatal Period


An upcoming article from Sweden (Swepis=Swedish post-term induction study) has been discussed widely even before it is published in the BMJ. The authors conclude that the risk for fetal demise of post-term pregnancy in week 42 compared to week 41 was so high that the study was interrupted before it was fulfilled. The final number of pregnant women in this study was 2760. Six foetuses in total died in the group of women who waited to be induced in week 42 of pregnancy (one fetus had heart failure, and another died during neonatal period).
The induction of post-term pregnancies varies between Scandinavian countries. Sweden has been more conservative, and more often Swedes wait until 42 weeks before inducing the post-term delivery. In other Scandinavian countries, most often the induction takes place earlier than in Sweden.

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