Understanding Preterm Labour: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Labour that starts before 37 weeks of pregnancy is called preterm labour or premature labour. This can be a concern for both mother and baby, as preterm birth is a leading cause of neonatal death and disability. It is important for women to know the signs and risks of preterm labour and to get medical help right away if they think they might be having it. This article will tell you everything you need to know about preterm labour, including its symptoms, causes, possible treatments, diagnostic tests, and surgeries or other procedures.

Understanding Preterm Labour: Symptoms and Causes

  • Preterm labour is defined as labour that occurs before 37 weeks of pregnancy.
  • Some of the most common signs of preterm labour are regular contractions, pressure in the pelvis, cramping, back pain, and a change in the way the woman pees.
  • Most of the time, no one knows what causes preterm labour, but some risk factors include having given birth early before, having more than one child, having certain medical conditions, or having bad habits like smoking or abusing drugs.

When to See a Doctor: Risk Factors and Possible Complications

  • Women who suspect they may be experiencing preterm labour should seek prompt medical attention.
  • Risk factors for preterm labour include having a baby early before, having more than one baby, having certain medical conditions, and having bad habits like smoking or using drugs.
  • Preterm labour can lead to problems like giving birth early, having a baby with a low birth weight, and even death or disability in the newborn.

Prevention and Remedies for Preterm Labour

  • The cause of preterm labour is often unknown, so prevention can be difficult.
  • To lower the chance of having a baby early, you should not do things like smoke or use drugs.
  • A healthcare provider may suggest that a woman who is showing signs of preterm labour stay in bed, take medicine to slow or stop the labour or try other treatments.

Diagnostic Tests and Radiology Tests for Preterm Labour

  • Preterm labour can be difficult to diagnose and may require multiple tests, such as a cervical exam, an ultrasound, and a foetal fibronectin test.
  • Before going in for tests, a patient should tell their doctor about any signs of preterm labour and any relevant medical history.
  • The results of the tests will show if preterm labour is happening and may also show how healthy the baby and mother are.

Surgeries and Procedures for Preterm Labour

  • Patients who have been diagnosed with preterm labour may qualify for certain procedures, such as cervical cerclage, to prevent preterm birth.
  • Procedures are done to stop premature birth and make sure that both the mother and the baby have the best possible outcome.
  • Some risks or complications of procedures include bleeding, getting an infection, or not being able to keep a baby from coming early.


Preterm labour is dangerous for both the mother and the baby, so women need to know the signs and what puts them at risk. Early detection and management are crucial to ensuring the best outcome for both mother and baby. This article has provided a comprehensive overview of preterm labour, including symptoms, causes, treatment options, diagnostic tests, and surgeries or procedures. Readers need to consult with their healthcare provider for personalised guidance and management of preterm labour.

Request an appointment at Apollo Cradle, Hyderabad - Kondapur. Call 1860-500-1066 to book an appointment.

1. What are the risk factors for preterm labour?

A previous preterm birth, multiple pregnancies, certain medical conditions (like high blood pressure, diabetes, or an infection), lifestyle factors (like smoking or drug use), and the mother's age and race are all things that can cause labour to start early.

2. What are the treatments for preterm labour?

Preterm labour can be treated with medicines that slow or stop labour, bed rest, and procedures like cervical cerclage, which are meant to stop preterm birth. Your healthcare provider will determine the best course of treatment for your specific case.

3. What is the most common cause of preterm labour?

The most common cause of preterm labour is unknown. However, certain factors may increase the risk of preterm labour, such as a previous preterm birth, multiple pregnancies, certain medical conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, or infection, lifestyle factors such as smoking or substance abuse, and certain maternal characteristics such as age and race. Some preterm births may also be caused by medical reasons such as infections or other pregnancy complications that may require early induction of labour or caesarean birth.

4. Can preterm labour be stopped?

In some cases, preterm labour can be slowed or stopped with medication and other interventions, but it cannot be completely stopped.

5. What week is preterm labour most common?

Preterm labour can occur at any time before 37 weeks of pregnancy.

Book an Appointment




Pregnancy Calculator