Uterine Contractions Do Not Predict Preterm Birth for Twins

Contraction frequency higher in twins, but not predictive of birth before 35 weeks' gestation

FRIDAY, Dec. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Uterine contraction frequency does not predict spontaneous preterm birth occurring before 35 weeks among women pregnant with twins, according to the results of a new study published in the December issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Roger B. Newman, M.D., of the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, and colleagues compared uterine contraction frequency among 59 women pregnant with twins and 306 women with singleton pregnancies to determine whether contraction frequency predicted preterm births among twin pregnancies. Beginning at 22 to 24 weeks' gestation, women used a home uterine activity monitor to record contractions two or more times per day on two or more days per week and continued doing so until delivery or 37 weeks' gestation.

Mean uterine contraction frequency was higher in twin gestations than singleton pregnancies during the latter half of pregnancy and time of day (between 1600 and 0359 hours), but the frequency of uterine contractions was not higher among moms who delivered twins at less than 35 weeks' gestation.

"The increased contraction frequency seen in normal twin gestations makes the diagnosis of preterm labor more difficult and requires increased attention to signs and symptoms of preterm labor other than contraction frequency," the study authors conclude.

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