Premature rupture of the amniotic membranes (PROM) occurs in up to 20% of all births. Although many studies have examined risk factors for PROM and, in particular, preterm PROM (PPROM, if less than 37 weeks’ gestation), the aetiology of PROM recurrence has not been examined as closely. This study investigated factors that may increase the risk of PROM among women who have already experienced one PROM birth. Maternally linked Washington State birth certificates from 1984 to 1993 identified 208 women with consecutive PROM births. Controls were a random sample (n= 848) of women who had one birth on record complicated by PROM, but whose subsequent birth was not. Among women with a prior term PROM, increased risk for PROM recurrence (term PROM or PPROM) was associated with an intervening fetal death at less than 20 weeks' gestation (OR = 2.4, 1.3–4.5) and with parity of two or more (OR = 2.0, 1.3–3.4). None of the factors assessed significantly increased the risk of recurrence of PROM (term PROM or PPROM) among women with a prior PPROM. Other potential risk factors for PROM recurrence were evaluated within the two PROM groups (PPROM or term PROM at first birth) by stratifying among the cases according to gestational length at subsequent birth.