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Premature Birth Symptoms & Diagnosis

Symptoms

Symptoms include:

  • Abdominal pain that feels something like menstrual cramps
  • Dull pain in the lower back
  • Pressure in the pelvis and tightening in the thighs
  • Vaginal bleeding or spotting, or watery discharge

Diagnosis

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.

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 medical condition. Copyright © 2020 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

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