Magazine article Nutrition Health Review

Cervical Ripening and Preterm Labor

Magazine article Nutrition Health Review

Cervical Ripening and Preterm Labor

Article excerpt


Cervical ripening that promotes preterm labor is distinct from what happens at the onset of normal-term labor, researchers have found. The findings challenge the conventional- premise that premature cervical ripening and remodeling are accelerated variations of term labor and that normal term ripening is caused primarily by an activation of inflammatory responses.

Cervical remodeling is the process by which the cervix is transformed to open sufficiently during birth.

Dr. Mala Mahendroo, Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Texas, explains: "Premature cervical remodeling can occur by more than one mechanism and is not necessarily an acceleration of the physiologic process in term labor. Depending on the cause of preterm birth, that mechanism can vary."

The study has been selected by the Faculty of 1,000--an international group of more than 10,000 leading scientists and researchers--to be in its top 2 percent of published articles in biology and medicine.

Previous studies had suggested that in term and preterm labor, white blood cells flow into the cervix and release enzymes that break down tissue support and remodel the cervix, allowing a baby to pass through the birth canal. …

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