Live birth prior to 37 weeks gestation.
There are three sub-categories, based on gestational age:
Induction or caesarean birth should not be planned prior to 39 weeks gestation unless medically indicated.
Why does preterm birth occur?
Even if the generally accepted and prescribed methods for maintaining a healthy pregnancy are followed, it is still possible to experience pre-term labor resulting in pre-term birth. One known risk factor is a prior preterm birth. There are a variety of other reasons for preterm labor: genetic influence, multiple pregnancies, infections and chronic health problems such as diabetes or high blood pressure.
How to prevent preterm birth?
Researchers found out that women who have a history of preterm birth can be treated with progesterone to reduce the risk of a repeat. Other treatments have not yet shown such good results and this treatment is not intended for women with multiple pregnancies or other risk factors. A commonly used method is bed rest and a medication that relaxes the muscles in the uterus.
Since the number of preterm births is rising, the need for preventive therapies is growing. Based on the product sales, the US market size approximate is $90 - 100 million in 2011, with the potential for growth with the advent of new indications.