Contractions are often the first sign a baby is on the way, but how do you know if those are a true sign of labor or just a false alarm?
Now, a test performed right in the doctor's office can help take away some of that guesswork. The fetal fibronectin test is performed much like a pap smear and measures a protein that is released in the earliest stages of labor.
"So when someone has a negative test results the likelihood they will deliver in one to two weeks it's not zero, but it's close," says Dr. Geeta Swamy, Duke Maternal Fetal Medicine.
Dr. Swamy says the test carries a high false positive rate, which means, if anything, more women than not are kept at the hospital under a watchful eye, but for others who are sent home, this test offers valuable reassurance that what they are feeling is, in fact, just false labor.
You'll find the fetal fibronectin test right here in Lubbock. It is used particularly on high risk patients at UMC and also at Covenant.