11 doctors weighed in:
What causes premature birth?
11 doctors weighed in

Dr. Dennis Higginbotham
Obstetrics & Gynecology
5 doctors agree
In brief: No one thing
In America about 12% of women deliver prematurely (before 37 weeks).
Sometimes there is an obvious reason like infection, abruption, premature membrane rupture, trauma, history of premature delivery, multiple gestation (twins, triplets), etc. However, the majority of preterm deliveries do not have an obvious cause, and we never know why.

In brief: No one thing
In America about 12% of women deliver prematurely (before 37 weeks).
Sometimes there is an obvious reason like infection, abruption, premature membrane rupture, trauma, history of premature delivery, multiple gestation (twins, triplets), etc. However, the majority of preterm deliveries do not have an obvious cause, and we never know why.
Dr. Dennis Higginbotham
Dr. Dennis Higginbotham
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1 comment
Dr. Hassan Harirah
Many causes that can preterm labor/birth.
Dr. Pam Yoder
Obstetrics & Gynecology - Maternal Fetal Medicine
3 doctors agree
In brief: Many possible causes
Premature labour can occur in any pregnancy, not just in ones with known "risk factors".
The actual cause or event that starts the contractions is unknown often. If there is an infection, a big uterus stretched by multiple or big babies, bleeding, etc., we might assume that was the cause, but typically it is impossible to prove what actually caused labour. An evaluation after delivery can help.

In brief: Many possible causes
Premature labour can occur in any pregnancy, not just in ones with known "risk factors".
The actual cause or event that starts the contractions is unknown often. If there is an infection, a big uterus stretched by multiple or big babies, bleeding, etc., we might assume that was the cause, but typically it is impossible to prove what actually caused labour. An evaluation after delivery can help.
Dr. Pam Yoder
Dr. Pam Yoder
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Dr. Nikolaos Zacharias
Obstetrics & Gynecology - Maternal Fetal Medicine
1 doctor agrees
In brief: A spectrum of causes
Spontaneous preterm birth risk factors: maternal race/ethnicity (african-americans have the highest risk), maternal anxiety/depression, social stressors, prior preterm birth, surgery of the cervix, genital infections, bladder infections (the number one cause of preventable preterm birth in usa), multifetal pregnancies (twins etc.
), poorly working placenta, genetic predisposition, unknown causes!

In brief: A spectrum of causes
Spontaneous preterm birth risk factors: maternal race/ethnicity (african-americans have the highest risk), maternal anxiety/depression, social stressors, prior preterm birth, surgery of the cervix, genital infections, bladder infections (the number one cause of preventable preterm birth in usa), multifetal pregnancies (twins etc.
), poorly working placenta, genetic predisposition, unknown causes!
Dr. Nikolaos Zacharias
Dr. Nikolaos Zacharias
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