A post term pregnancy, also called a prolonged pregnancy, is one that has extended beyond 42 weeks or 294 days from the first day of the last menstrual period. As many as 10 percent of pregnancies will deliver postterm. Fetal, neonatal and maternal complications associated with this condition have always been underestimated. In most cases, the cause of postterm pregnancy is unknown. There are some factors that place a woman at increased risk. The incidence is higher in first pregnancies and in women who have had a previous postterm pregnancy. Genetic factors may also play a role.
The prevalence of postterm pregnancy in a population is affected by several factors. One of the most important factors is whether routine early ultrasound assessment of gestational age is performed.