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Amniotic fluid infection linked to preterm birth

Women who acquire amniotic fluid infection during pregnancy are at an increased risk of delivering preterm.

Amniotic fluid infection linked to preterm birth

Women who acquire amniotic fluid infection during pregnancy are at an increased risk of delivering preterm. The clear-coloured liquid that surrounds the fetus is called amniotic fluid. It cushions and protects the baby and by the second trimester, the baby is able to breathe the fluid into the lungs and to swallow it. It allows the baby to move around, aiding development of muscles and bones. Evidence already exists that some conditions like kidney stones and elevated fatty acids increase the risk of premature delivery. To find out whether or not amniotic fluid infection increases the odds of preterm delivery, researchers form America analysed amniotic fluid from 166 women in preterm labour. Out of all, 113 pregnant women went on to deliver their infants prematurely. It was found that women with the highest degree of bacteria, fungi and archaea in their amniotic fluid resulting in infection were most likely to deliver more premature and sicker infants. The researchers recomended early detection and subsequent treatment of amniotic fluid infections so that premature births resulting from this infection could be prevented.
PLoS-ONE
August 2008
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