A risk factor is something that increases your likelihood of getting a disease or condition.
It is possible to have preterm labor with or without the risk factors listed below. However, the more risk factors you have, the greater your likelihood of having preterm labor. If you have a number of risk factors, ask your healthcare provider what you can do to reduce your risk.
Risk factors for preterm labor include:
A previous preterm birth
Low socioeconomic status
Age less than 18 or greater than 35 years
Premature rupture of the membranes
Carrying more than one baby
History of one or more spontaneous second-trimester abortions
Illicit drug use
Lack of prenatal care
—This is a benign tumor in the wall of the uterus.
Abnormally shaped uterus—This does not allow enough space for the baby to grow.
Incompetent cervix—The cervix dilates too early in the pregnancy.
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
Amniotic fluid infection
Urinary tract infections (including kidney or bladder)
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a