Haemostasis is a complex and dynamic equilibrium involving pro-coagulants, the natural anticoagulation system and fibrinolysis. Normal human pregnancy is associated with profound alterations to the process of haemostasis such that the pro-coagulant effect becomes dominant. There are very few studies which have attempted to elucidate the adaptations that take place in the uteroplacental circulation where the haemostatic system faces the conflicting tasks of maintaining blood fluidity during pregnancy while preparing for the haemostatic challenge of delivery. It is hypothesised that excessive thrombosis within the uteroplacental circulation provides the mechanistic basis for the reported associations between the inherited thrombophilias and major pregnancy complications. The evidence underpinning this widely quoted hypothesis is weak.