Antibiotics to Treat and Prevent Infection During Preterm Labor
During preterm labor, antibiotics may be used to treat or prevent an infection.
Treatment with antibiotics
Types of infections that can cause pregnancy problems include Reference syphilis Opens New Window, Reference chlamydia Opens New Window, Reference gonorrhea Opens New Window, Reference group B strep Opens New Window, Reference urinary tract infection Opens New Window, and Reference pneumonia Opens New Window.
Infections during pregnancy are treated with Reference antibiotics Opens New Window. The type of antibiotic used to treat the infection depends on which bacteria are causing the infection. Antibiotics commonly used during pregnancy include erythromycin, clindamycin, ampicillin, gentamicin, and metronidazole.
Antibiotics don't always clear up uterine infection or prevent Reference preterm labor Opens New Window. If a mother's uterus has become infected and her fetus is mature enough, her doctor or nurse-midwife might not attempt to delay the birth.
Prevention with antibiotics after preterm premature rupture of membranes (pPROM)
Reference Preterm premature rupture of membranes (pPROM) Opens New Window is the rupture of the amniotic sac before 37 completed weeks of pregnancy. When given to women with pPROM, antibiotics may:Reference 1
- Increase time from pPROM to delivery.
- Lower the risk of infection in the vagina and uterus.
- Lower the risk of fetal infection.
Prevention with antibiotics with intact membranes
Antibiotics are not a recommended treatment for women in preterm labor whose amniotic sac has not ruptured (intact membranes). But some women do receive antibiotics for Reference group B strep Opens New Window prevention or treatment.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference May 10, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Reference William Gilbert, MD - Maternal and Fetal Medicine