Risk Factors for Preterm Labor and Delivery
- A previous preterm birth
- Placental abruption
- Premature rupture of the membranes
- Carrying more than one baby
- Vaginal bleeding after 16 weeks, or during more than one trimester
- Being pregnant with a single fetus after in vitro fertilization (IVF)
- Less than six months between giving birth and the beginning of the next pregnancy
- Presence of a retained intrauterine device
- History of one or more spontaneous second-trimester abortions
- Too much or too little fluid in the amniotic sac surrounding the baby
- Surgery on your abdomen during pregnancy
- Intrauterine fetal death
- Intrauterine growth delay
- Birth defects in the baby
- Uterine fibroids
- Abnormally shaped uterus
- Incompetent cervix—The cervix dilates too early in the pregnancy
- Infection in the cervix, uterus, or vagina
- Amniotic fluid infection
- Urinary tract infections
- Sexually transmitted diseases
- Exposure to diethylstilbestrol (DES)—Before its dangers were known, DES was given to pregnant women to decrease the risk of miscarriage; if your mother took DES while she was pregnant with you, your reproductive organs may be damaged. DES has not been used since the 1970s.
- Low socioeconomic status
- Lack of prenatal care
- Lack of social support
Prematurity. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us. Updated April 18, 2013 . Accessed April 23, 2013.
Preterm labor. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists website. Available at: http://www.acog.org/~/media/For%20Patients/faq087.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20130423T0923201528 . Accessed April 23, 2013.
Preterm labor. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us. Updated March 15, 2013 . Accessed April 23, 2013.
Preterm labor and birth. March of Dimes website. Available at: http://www.marchofdimes.com/pregnancy/preterm%5Findepth.html. Updated September 2012. Accessed April 23, 2013.
Who is at risk for preterm labor and birth? National Institute of Child Health & Human Development website. Available at: hhttp://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/preterm/conditioninfo/Pages/who%5Frisk.aspx. Updated November 30, 2012. Accessed April 23, 2013.
7/21/2009 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us: Kramer MS, Lydon J, Séguin L, et al. Stress pathways to spontaneous preterm birth: the role of stressors, psychological distress, and stress hormones. Am J Epidemiol. 2009;169:1319-1326.
1/22/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us: Calderon-Margalit R, Qiu C, Ornoy A, Siscovick DS, Williams MA. Risk of preterm delivery and other adverse perinatal outcomes in relation to maternal use of psychotropic medications during pregnancy. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2009;201(6):579.e1-8.
8/23/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us: McDonald SD, Han Z, Mulla S, Beyene J; Knowledge Synthesis Group. Overweight and obesity in mothers and risk of preterm birth and low birth weight infants: systematic review and meta-analyses. BMJ. 2010;341:c3428.
- Reviewer: Andrea Chisholm; Brian Randall, MD
- Review Date: 04/2013 -
- Update Date: 04/23/2013 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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