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How is preterm labor prevented?
Premature labor, preterm delivery, and the delivery of an infant <1,500 grams are the most significant risks to the fetus. Medications that have α-adrenergic agonist proper-ties (e.g., ketamine and phenylephrine) can increase uter-ine vascular tone and should be avoided, if possible. The potent inhaled anesthetic agents decrease uterine tone and inhibit uterine contractions and may, therefore, be benefi-cial. No study, however, has ever documented that any par-ticular anesthetic agent or technique is associated with a higher or lower incidence of miscarriage or preterm labor. The greatest risk for preterm labor occurs when there is uter-ine manipulation, as occurs during gynecologic procedures.
The lowest risk for preterm labor occurs during the second trimester.
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