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Keywords:

  • pregnancy complications;
  • recurrence;
  • obstetric risk;
  • clinical perspective

Summary

Research on recurrent pregnancy complications is essential to help clinicians provide appropriate counselling and guide the management of patients with a history of adverse pregnancy outcomes. However, recurrence research is complex, in both its execution and interpretation. The paucity of appropriate data sets accessible for study of recurrent pregnancy outcomes presents significant challenges in performing recurrence research. This is further compounded by the different perspectives on recurrence between epidemiologists and clinicians. The interpretation of risk, whether it is absolute risk, relative risk or population-attributable fraction, underlies the often opposing perspectives of researchers and clinicians. Because clinicians acutely feel the need to provide appropriate counselling and management strategies when there has been a previous pregnancy complication, it is necessary that all those involved in research and care for these women work together to address gaps in our knowledge for recurrent pregnancy outcomes. In this way, we can develop a better understanding of disease processes, counsel patients better, design management plans and, ultimately, achieve better outcomes for our patients.