11 Things You Should Know about Preterm Labor


There are many reasons which can trigger a preterm labor. Starting from having a short cervix to abnormalities in uterus, many things can actually trigger such phenomena. Closely spaced pregnancies also can be another cause of preterm labor. Your smoking and drinking habits along with any previously untreated infections can result in preterm labor.

Apart from these factors, your ethnic background, excessive bleeding and any sort of medical history can result in preterm labor.

Here is the list of few factors that can result in a preterm labor:

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11 Things Know about Preterm Labor

Stretched Uterus

If your uterus is abnormally stretched, for some reason, the risk of a premature labor increases. There might be multiple reasons for your uterus to remain stretched. You might have larger fibroids or excess amniotic fluid or in case you can twins then also your uterus will be stretched beyond normal. In such cases preterm labor can happen.

Uterus can be stretched for other reasons like diabetes. If you are already suffering from illnesses like diabetes then it is better that you get it treated before planning to get pregnant. If you have already given birth to a larger baby, then also the condition of your uterus remains questionable.


Shorter Cervix

If the length of your cervix is less than 2.5 centimeters then the chances of premature labor is very high. The cervix is something that will help your uterus stay closed. A shorter one will fail to keep the uterus door closed till the baby is fully matured.

Close Pregnancies

If you are giving birth to one child within the 18 months of another then the chances of preterm birth increases. It is due to the fact that a woman’s body fully does not repair within that few months to give birth to another child.

Thus it is important to have a considerable amount of time distance separating your pregnancies. Consult your doctor before planning on your second or third one. Check whether your mental health and physical health permit you to be pregnant again.

History of Preterm Pregnancy

If the past pregnancy was a preterm one the chances of a preterm birth in the next one increases by three folds. In such cases your doctor can suggest you to have an early scanning of your cervix and uterus length and take proper precautions before the delivery actually happen.preterm labor

Abnormally Shaped Uterus

If you have a partially developed uterus or you have any other complications pertaining to it, then the chances of a preterm labor increase by many degrees. It essentially means that your uterus will not be strong enough to hold the baby for a longer time period. However, the size and shape of your uterus can be very easily detectable by using ultrasound. That is why it is important to undergo such tests before planning pregnancy, in order to avoid future complications.

Bleeding During Pregnancy

It is a very obvious indication that your baby is going to come out early. Bleeding often indicates that your uterus is unable to hold onto the amount of fluid and blood required for your baby and hence it is oozing out.


It is always a very dangerous signal. You need to call emergency services even if you see spotting whilst being pregnant.


Addictions like smoking, drugs and alcohol can have reverse effect on your pregnancy and your fetus. If you are a victim of substance abuse then it will not only hinder your child’s overall growth and development but also it might result in a very early pregnancy. That is something undesirable. However, the good thing is that unlike the previously mentioned issues and problems additions are something which you can curb and make your pregnancy a better one.

Ethnic Background

Might sound a bit odd but preterm pregnancy rates vary according to race and ethnic backgrounds. A recent study has shown that women from African American decent experience more preterm labor than the other races. However, there are no substantial medical reasons to support such claims.

Constant Medication and Ailments

History of infections and medication can actually alter your hormonal balance. In such cases the pregnancy can become a burden itself. Especially if you have urinary tract infection or you are suffering from sexually transmitted diseases.

The chances of premature delivery also increase with the consumptions of steroid based medication for a prolonged period. Also it has been found out that advanced dental care based treatments have a negative effect on the overall pregnancy and it often leads to premature labor.

Abdominal diseases also trigger preterm labor and the consequences are often long term. Many women who suffer from abdominal infections have very difficult pregnancies to deal with. If you have history of infection then you must check with your doctor, during your pregnancy planning.


Low Pregnancy Weight

Women with lower body mass index have higher probability of preterm labor and even miscarriage. If the body mass index is less than 19.8 then the risk of premature labor is actually pretty high.

If you are actually lower on body weight it is advised that you make proper doctor visits before you decide on having a child. In such cases the doctors might advise you to gain considerable healthy weight before you plan on becoming pregnant.

Using Fertility Treatment

If you have undergone fertility treatment then also the risk of preterm labor increases. Treatments like in the form of vitro fertilization (IVF) might have such negative impact on your overall fertility. Prolonged treatments of similar nature can make your delivery happen before due date.

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There are several other factors which contribute to the overall condition of your pregnancy and trigger a premature one. That is the reason why you should always consult your doctor before planning on any pregnancy.


Your medical history and overall habits determine the nature of your pregnancy by a great deal. So, it is important that you improve your habits, get your conditions tested and plan your pregnancy properly to get rid of any sort of complications.