What are the Causes of Premature Birth?

What are the Causes of Premature Birth?

Premature labor or preterm labor can often lead to premature birth. If you go into labor before 37 weeks, that is considered preterm labor. If you deliver your baby before 37 weeks gestation, that is considered preterm birth. There are lots of different things that can cause premature birth, and today we are going to find out more about those causes. Claim Your 20 Free Pregnancy Tests – Click Here


Sometimes, certain infections can trigger preterm labor, and in turn, premature birth. Substances produced by bacteria in the genital tract can weaken the membranes around the amniotic sac and cause it to rupture early. Even when the membranes remain intact, bacteria can cause infection and inflammation in the uterus, which may trigger a chain of events that leads to preterm labor.

Placenta Problems

In many cases, problems with the placenta can cause preterm labor or premature birth. Placenta previa or placental abruption are two very common placenta problems that can trigger preterm labor and premature birth.

Lifestyle Factors

There are many different lifestyle factors that increase the risk for preterm birth or premature labor. For example, smoking, drinking alcohol, or using illegal drugs are all risk factors for preterm labor. Domestic violence, high levels of stress, and little to no social support can also increase the risk of premature birth. Women who work long hours on their feet and are of a lower income status are also more likely to experience premature birth.

Medical Conditions

Many chronic medical conditions are also risk factors for premature birth or preterm labor. Some of these things include gestational diabetes, gestational hypertension, and kidney disease. These long term illnesses and conditions can increase the risk of giving birth early.


Women who have had multiple first trimester abortions or one or more second trimester abortions are at a greater risk of having preterm labor or premature birth as well. Also, women who have a short period of time between pregnancies, (6-9 months from birth to beginning of next pregnancy), are also more likely to have preterm labor and premature birth.

IVF  and More

Women who are pregnant with a single fetus after IVF are also more likely to have premature labor or preterm birth. Unexplained vaginal bleeding after 20 weeks gestation is also an increased risk factor. If you have a clotting disorder, your risk will also be increased.

Warning Signs

So, now that you know the risk factors for premature labor, what are the warning signs? If you are pregnant, look for an increase or change in your vaginal discharge, or abdominal cramps that occur with or without diarrhea. Contractions that are less than ten minutes apart, or watery fluid leaking from the vagina are also signs that labor is occurring. A dull, low backache or cramps in the lower abdomen are also something that can indicate preterm labor.

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