Prevention of Preterm Birth

Jeffrey M. Denney; Jennifer F. Culhane; Robert L. Goldenberg


Women's Health. 2008;4(6):625-638. 

In This Article

Intervention in Women With a History of Previous Preterm Birth

Women with a prior preterm birth have increased risk of recurrence of preterm birth regardless of whether their prior preterm birth was spontaneous or indicated.[12] A thorough review of a patient's obstetrical history may enable the clinician to identify avenues through which risk may be either reduced or completely eliminated. For example, those with histories of spontaneous second trimester loss may be given progesterone supplementation beginning at 16 weeks. If identified, other risks for preterm delivery, such as a uterine septum, may be corrected preconception. As much as 40% of preterm deliveries have been associated with preconception risk factors; this suggests that there may be a significant role for pre-pregnancy interventions in reducing preterm birth.[73] Examples of treatable disorders whose treatment may decrease the risk of preterm birth include diabetes, asthma, hypertension and seizures. However, evidence that these steps can actually influence the preterm birth rate is lacking.


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