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International Journal of Reproductive Medicine
Volume 2015, Article ID 413917, 10 pages
Research Article

The Effects of Interpregnancy Intervals and Previous Pregnancy Outcome on Fetal Loss in Rwanda (1996–2010)

1Demography and Statistics, University of Rwanda, P.O. Box 117, Huye, Rwanda
2Utrecht University, P.O. Box 80115, 3508 TC Utrecht, Netherlands

Received 5 August 2015; Accepted 7 October 2015

Academic Editor: Hind A. Beydoun

Copyright © 2015 Ignace Habimana-Kabano et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In 2005, a WHO consultation meeting on pregnancy intervals recommended a minimum interval of 6 months after a pregnancy disruption and an interval of two years after a live birth before attempting another pregnancy. Since then, studies have found contradictory evidence on the effect of shorter intervals after a pregnancy disruption. A binary regression analysis on 21532 last pregnancy outcomes from the 2000, 2005, and 2010 Rwanda Demographic and Health Surveys was done to assess the combined effects of the preceding pregnancy outcome and the interpregnancy intervals (IPIs) on fetal mortality in Rwanda. Risks of pregnancy loss are higher for primigravida and for mothers who lost the previous pregnancy and conceived again within 24 months. After a live birth, interpregnancy intervals less than two years do not increase the risk of a pregnancy loss. This study also confirms higher risks of fetal death when IPIs are beyond 5 years. An IPI of longer than 12 months after a fetal death is recommended in Rwanda. Particular attention needs to be directed to postpregnancy abortion care and family planning programs geared to spacing pregnancies should also include spacing after a fetal death.