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What are Braxton Hicks contractions?

Q: I am a 26 years old lady and seven months pregnant. I am experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions and want to know what they are.

A:Braxton Hicks contractions are uterine contractions that are normal. They are usually not painful; do not increase in intensity, duration or frequency. The latter are characteristics of normal labour pains - be it term or preterm. The pregnant woman sometimes becomes conscious of these Braxton Hicks contractions and fears she may be going into preterm labour. In a woman with previous history of preterm delivery, it is important that the pregnant woman reports any tightening of the uterus to her obstetrician and the doctor will then examine and diagnose whether or not this tightening of the uterus is Braxton Hicks contractions or threatened preterm labour.

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