Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history, and perform a physical exam. Your obstetrician will to see if your cervix has dilated, and if fetal membranes have ruptured. Regularity of contractions will also be monitored, and an ultrasound may be performed.
Sometimes special tests are done, such as an ultrasound, to measure the cervix length, or fetal fibronectin (fFN).
The definition of preterm labor requires change in the dilation of the cervix under the influence of uterine contractions. Prior to actual preterm labor, the phrase threatened preterm labor may be used. Threatened preterm labor is potentially reversible.
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