Some Common Causes of Premature Birth

Nature confers many surprises on a woman during her pregnancy. The unpleasant morning sickness to the natural glow on the face and of course, the excitement of the first kick is some features that are bound to occur.

However, it is assured that no expecting mother would like the surprise of premature birth as it is known to pose a serious threat to the child as well the mother.

Almost all of us are aware of the identifiable causes of premature birth such as drug usage, alcohol consumption, cigarette smoking, poor diet, improper care, etc that can be avoided. However, in many instances, even if the above mentioned causes are taken care of, still a premature birth can happen.

Let us look at some of these causes –

  • The most common cause of premature birth is premature rupture of the membranes (Prom). This happens when the membranous bag containing the amniotic fluid and the baby develops a hole or bursts. As a result, the fluid may start leaking from the vagina which again could be a slow trickle or a large gush. There are no certain factors due to which PROM may be caused, but excessive amniotic fluid, vaginal infection or multiple babies are some of the common causes.

  • Weakened or incompetent cervix may also lead to premature birth. During the late pregnancy, cervix is known to soften and opens up when contractions begin. However, in certain cases, as the baby grows, it may exert pressure on the cervix, and a weakened or incompetent cervix may open up early. This situation is known to occur in one case out of 100 cases.
  • If a woman has an abnormal shape uterus, then the chances of premature birth may be high as the infant has less space to grow than it would have in a normal shaped womb. When there isn’t enough space for the baby to grow, the womb may stretch and lead to premature labor.
  • Age of the woman is another common factor. Women above the age of 40 are susceptible to premature birth than the younger women.

Posted by in Birth Defects, Pregnancy

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