What is the role of infection in the etiology of preterm labor?

Updated: May 04, 2021
  • Author: Michael G Ross, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Carl V Smith, MD  more...
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The young gynecology patient diagnosed with gonorrhea, chlamydia, or trichomoniasis has an approximate 25% risk of reinfection during the subsequent 12 months, but a clear association between these organisms and preterm delivery has not been established. BV is a vaginal syndrome associated with an alteration of the normal vaginal flora rather than an infection specific to any one organism and a lack of vaginal inflammation is evident when compared with vaginitis. The diagnosis of BV should be suspected with a positive Gram stain result or the presence of 3 of 4 traditional diagnostic signs (homogenous gray-white discharge, >20% clue cells on saline wet smear, positive whiff test, and a vaginal pH >4.50) Patients should be treated per the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, with test-of-cure sampling and subsequent treatment if necessary.

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