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FAQ Frequently asked questions
What are the symptoms of preterm labor?
Signs and symptoms of preterm labor include: pelvic pressure; lower abdominal cramping and back pain; your waters breaking; changes in cervical discharge such that it is watery, bloody or mucus-like; dilation of the cervix; vaginal spotting, and; …
What causes preterm labor?
Causes of preterm labor include: placental abnormalities, such as placenta previa or placental abruption; infection and inflammation; physical or psychological stress, and; stretching of the uterus - often as a result of a multiple pregnancy.
How is preterm labor diagnosed?
If your waters have broken, you are experiencing frequent and intense contractions and your cervix has dilated, preterm labor is most probably occurring. A test of your cervical secretions can be performed to look for a protein called fibronectin which …
How is preterm labor treated?
If preterm labor is suspected, a range of medications comprising tocolytic therapy (to slow down contractions) will be used to delay delivery. Corticosteroids are also used to help your baby mature faster if early delivery is going to happen.
Can preterm labor be prevented?
If you have experienced preterm labor in the past, you will likely be given progesterone in the form of an injection or vaginal gel to help reduce the risk of it happening again. You can also help reduce your risk by not smoking or taking drugs.
Is preterm labor serious?
If delivery is at 24 weeks, the chances of the baby's survival are lower than 50%. Every week that delivery can be delayed greatly lowers the risk of complications and increases the chances of the baby's survival.
About this article
Author: Dr Idan Ben-Barak PhD, MSc, BSc (Med)
First answered: 13 Jul 2015
Last reviewed: 19 May 2018
Rating: 4.6 out of 5
Votes: 497 (Click smiley face below left to rate)
Category: Preterm labor