Preterm Labour Essay

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Preterm labor is defined as regular contractions of the uterus resulting in changes in the cervix that start before 37 weeks of pregnancy. Preterm births are classified according to gestational age at delivery. Though multiple interactive continuous variables are implicated in its etiology, the two strongest risk factors for idiopathic preterm labour are low socio-economic status and previous preterm delivery. Intrauterine infection plays a major role in the genesis of preterm labour. Diagnosis of preterm labour is made when the symptoms of preterm labour are associated with cervical changes. Investigations specific for diagnosis of preterm labour include transvaginal ultrasonography, fetal fibronectin, maturity amniocentesis, PAMG-1 and cervico vaginal …show more content…
In low-income settings, half of the babies born at or below 32 weeks die due to a lack of feasible, cost-effective care, such as warmth, breastfeeding support, and basic care for infections and breathing difficulties. In high-income countries, almost all of these babies survive.


There are sub-categories of preterm birth, based on gestational age:
• extremely preterm (<28 weeks)
• very preterm (28 to <32 weeks)
• moderate to late preterm (32 to <37 weeks).
The problems of preterm babies vary according to the degree of prematurity, with the maximum burden being placed on the extremely preterm ones.

Preterm labour is a heterogeneous process. The presence of multiple interactive continuous variables explains the relatively low predictive value of any one variable. Most preterm births happen spontaneously, but some are due to early induction of labour or caesarean birth, whether for medical or non-medical reasons. There could also be a genetic influence. Better understanding of the causes and mechanisms will advance the development of solutions to prevent preterm birth.

Risk factors for preterm

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