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Authors

  1. Cypher, Rebecca L. MSN, PNNP

Abstract

Women who have delivered an infant between 16 and 36 weeks' gestation have an increased risk of preterm birth (PTB) in a subsequent pregnancy. The high incidence of recurrent PTB remains relatively unchanged despite intensive research efforts and advances in perinatal care. Attempts to decrease the incidence of recurrent PTB have not always been successful, with research efforts being focused on clinical, pharmacotherapy and biochemical, and ultrasound strategies. Fortunately, there is adequate evidence in the literature to justify clinical management guidelines that may impact the PTB rate: smoking cessation, treatment of asymptomatic bacteriuria, transvaginal ultrasonography of the cervix, administration of vaginal progesterone or 17[alpha]-hydroxyprogesterone caproate, cerclage, and fetal fibronectin. This article is intended to give brief highlights of these strategies and the current science that supports their conclusions.