Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Premature Labor Overview

What is premature labor?
A pregnant woman with premature labor has begun labor before the 36th week of pregnancy. Premature birth occurs in about 11 percent of pregnancies.

What are the symptoms of premature labor?
Symptoms of premature labor include uterine contractions, which may cause abdominal pain or back pain. Additional symptoms of premature labor may include a sudden gush of clear fluid from the vagina.

How does the doctor treat premature labor?
Treatment for premature labor may include bed rest, corticosteroid medications, antibiotics, and medications to suppress contractions. In some cases, treatment for premature labor may include delivery of the baby. The delivery may be performed by Cesarean section, or medication may be given, in order to stimulate a normal vaginal delivery.

Continue to Premature Labor Incidence

Last Updated: Sep 28, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Premature Labor References
  1. Besinger RE. Preterm labor, premature rupture of membranes, and cervical incompetence. Curr Opin Obstet Gynecol. 1993 Feb;5(1):33-9. [8425033]
  2. Gjerdingen DK. Premature labor, Part II: Management. J Am Board Fam Pract. 1992 Nov-Dec;5(6):601-15. [1462794]
  3. Mercer BM, Lewis R. Preterm labor and preterm premature rupture of the membranes. Diagnosis and management. Infect Dis Clin North Am. 1997 Mar;11(1):177-201. [9067791]
  4. Newton ER. Preterm labor, preterm premature rupture of membranes, and chorioamnionitis. Clin Perinatol. 2005 Sep;32(3):571-600. [16085021]
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