A prematurity prevention program has been developed and implemented at the Pope Paul VI Institute for the last 25 years. The program begins by identifying those patients who are at high risk for going into preterm labor. These patients are then taught how to self-monitor their uterine contractions. When indicated, supplemental intramuscular progesterone is provided while monitoring serum progesterone levels and tocolytic therapy (usually with Terbutaline) is used for symptoms of uterine irritability (contractions).
In addition to the above, antibiotic therapy is provided to those patients who break through their tocolytic therapy. Ultrasound assessment of the cervix is also used according to risk criterion, symptoms or pregnancy condition. If ultrasound assessment of the cervix indicates, cervical cerclage is placed.
This entire protocol cannot be properly discussed in a web site such as this, however, it can be stated emphatically that the prematurity rate can be decreased with the use of this protocol.
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