How to Treat Preterm Labour And Preterm Prelabour Rupture Of Membranes?

  • January 02, 2024
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How to Treat Preterm Labour And Preterm Prelabour Rupture Of Membranes?

What is Preterm Labor?

Preterm or premature labor occurs when labor begins before the 37th week of pregnancy, which is considered early in a normal 40-week pregnancy. At 37 weeks, a pregnancy is considered "at term," and anything before that is termed preterm. Labor involves the process of the body preparing for childbirth, marked by contractions (muscle tightening in the uterus) and the rupture of membranes, commonly known as the water breaking. If experiencing preterm labor, the cervix may open (dilate) earlier than expected. Preterm labor increases the risk of premature birth, but interventions can often stop labor, allowing the fetus more time to grow and develop in the uterus. Treatments for stopping premature labor may include bed rest, intravenous fluids, and medications to relax the uterus.

Why Does Preterm Labor Occur?

The exact cause of preterm labor is often unknown, but certain risk factors may increase the likelihood. These include multiple pregnancies (twins or more), infections, chronic conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure, and a history of preterm birth. Lifestyle factors such as smoking and drug use also contribute to the risk.

  1. Infections: Infections in the reproductive tract or elsewhere in the body can trigger an inflammatory response that may lead to preterm labor. Bacterial vaginosis and urinary tract infections are among the infections associated with an increased risk.
  2. Multiple Pregnancies: Carrying twins, triplets, or more significantly increases the risk of preterm labor. The uterus may stretch more rapidly, causing changes that initiate labor prematurely.
  3. Uterine or Cervical Abnormalities: Structural issues with the uterus or cervix, such as an abnormally shaped uterus or an incompetent cervix, can contribute to the risk of preterm labor.
  4. Short Time Between Pregnancies: Getting pregnant again too quickly after giving birth may increase the risk of preterm labor. The body may not have had sufficient time to recover and prepare for another pregnancy.
  5. Maternal Health Conditions: Certain health conditions in the mother, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or blood clotting disorders, may be associated with an increased risk of preterm labor.
  6. Age of the Mother: Both very young mothers (under 17) and older mothers (over 35) may face a higher risk of preterm labor. Teenagers may be more prone due to their own physical immaturity, while older women may experience age-related complications.
  7. Lifestyle Factors: Unhealthy lifestyle choices, such as smoking, drug use, and inadequate prenatal care, can contribute to preterm labor. These factors may increase inflammation and adversely affect fetal development.
  8. Stress: High levels of stress, whether emotional or physical, may play a role in triggering preterm labor. Chronic stress can lead to the release of certain hormones that may influence the onset of labor.