Preterm birth is a leading cause of perinatal loss and long term health problems for children. For women at increased risk of preterm birth, close monitoring in the preterm prevention clinic means they receive specialized support as well as timely access to important treatments that can reduce the risk of early birth.
Thursday2.00pm - 4.30pm
Globally preterm birth is the leading cause of perinatal loss and long term disability, with an estimated 15 million babies born before 37 weeks gestation every year. In Australia, approximately 9% of all births are preterm and these babies may have short and long term health problems as a result of being born too early.
Many preterm births can be predicted by prior obstetric history and simple screening tests such as transvaginal ultrasound measurement of the cervix and maternal biochemical markers. Methods of preventing preterm birth are also evolving rapidly. Women at increased risk of a preterm baby need consistent, evidence-based advice on predicting and preventing preterm birth.
"There are effective treatments available for women at increased risk of spontaneous preterm birth," explains Dr Alison Fung, "but these need to be tailored according to the woman’s past history and informed by parameters such as cervical length measurement and biomarkers. No two preterm births are the same. Mercy Perinatal’s preterm prevention clinic ensures all information is integrated to ensure the right treatment is offered to the right patient at the right time."
In this ultrasound-based service, we perform risk assessment with cervical length measurement and provide preventive strategies for women at risk of preterm birth in collaboration with the primary obstetric carer. We welcome referrals of women with a past history of preterm birth < 34 weeks gestation, cervical insufficiency, prior cervical surgery or congenital uterine anomaly. We provide transvaginal ultrasound cervical surveillance, quantitative fetal fibronectin measurement, insertion of cervical pessaries, and advice on progesterone therapy and cervical cerclage.
This clinic is designed for women with specific risk factors for spontaneous preterm birth, including a past history of preterm birth or preterm prelabour rupture of the membranes < 34 weeks gestation. We also accept referrals of patients with suspected cervical insufficiency, prior cervical surgery or congenital uterine anomaly.