A risk factor is something that increases your likelihood of getting a disease or condition.
It is possible to have
with or without the risk factors listed below. However, the more risk factors you have, the greater your likelihood of having preterm labor. If you have a number of risk factors, ask your doctor what you can do to reduce your risk.
Non-white women under the 18 years or over 35 years have an increased risk of preterm labor. Other factors that may increase your risk include:
Exposure to diethylstilbestrol (DES)—Before its dangers were known, DES was given to pregnant women to decrease the risk of miscarriage; if your mother took DES while she was pregnant with you, your reproductive organs may be damaged. DES has not been used since the 1970s.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Prematurity. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:
https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us. Updated April 18, 2013 . Accessed April 23, 2013.
Preterm labor. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists website. Available at:
http://www.acog.org/~/media/For%20Patients/faq087.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20130423T0923201528. Accessed April 23, 2013.
Preterm labor. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:
https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us. Updated March 15, 2013 . Accessed April 23, 2013.
Preterm labor and birth. March of Dimes website. Available at:
http://www.marchofdimes.com/pregnancy/preterm%5Findepth.html. Updated September 2012. Accessed April 23, 2013.
Who is at risk for preterm labor and birth? National Institute of Child Health & Human Development website. Available at:
hhttp://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/preterm/conditioninfo/Pages/who%5Frisk.aspx. Updated November 30, 2012. Accessed April 23, 2013.
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