New test singles out premature labour from false alarms
Researchers have developed a new test to recognise when the signs of premature labour are a false alarm. Of the mums-to-be who show symptoms of early delivery, less than half actually go on to have a premature birth. This can lead to unnecessary tests and hospital stays.The new test looks for a protein called fetal fibronectin (fFN), which helps attach the fetal sac to the uterus. Previous research has linked the leakage of fFN at a certain stage of pregnancy to an increased chance of premature delivery.Therefore, if the test results show low levels of fFN, the chances of a premature labour are very unlikely. Although not yet widely available, the test can easily be done at the same time as a vaginal examination, which is routinely carried out when a mum-to-be is admitted with abdominal pain.Find out more on the signs of premature labour on our sister site.
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