Results of the fetal fibronectin test are either positive or negative:

  • Positive. A positive result means that fetal fibronectin is present. If you have a positive result between weeks 22 and 34, you're at increased risk of preterm labor. Your health care provider might suggest that you avoid tiring tasks or prescribe a brief course of medication to help prevent preterm labor. You might also be given an injection of potent steroids to speed your baby's lung maturity.
  • Negative. A negative result means that fetal fibronectin isn't present. This indicates that your pregnancy is likely to continue for at least another week. In fact, a negative result might be the most powerful benefit of the test — allowing you and your health care provider to relax a bit with the knowledge that a premature birth isn't imminent.

Whether your test results are positive or negative, remember that prompt recognition of preterm labor might give your health care provider a chance to delay preterm labor or improve your baby's readiness for birth.

If you're concerned that you might be going into labor early, contact your health care provider. Don't worry about mistaking false labor for the real thing.

Warning signs of preterm labor include:

  • Regular or frequent contractions — a tightening sensation in the abdomen
  • Constant low, dull backache
  • A sensation of pelvic or lower abdominal pressure
  • Mild abdominal cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Vaginal spotting or bleeding
  • Watery vaginal discharge (water breaking) — in a gush or a trickle
  • A change in vaginal discharge
May 10, 2013