JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Urogenital infections as a risk factor for preterm labor: a hospital-based case-control study.

PURPOSE: Preterm labor is a leading cause of neonatal morbidity and mortality. Ascending lower genital tract infection leads to preterm labor and adverse pregnancy outcomes. This prospective case-control study was performed to see the association between preterm labor and urogenital infections.

METHODS: A total of 104 women were observed for urogenital infections and their association with preterm labor. Case Group I included 52 women with preterm labor after 26 weeks and before 37 completed weeks of gestation with or without rupture of membranes. Control Group II included 52 women at completed or more than 37 weeks of gestation with no history of preterm labor, matched to the case group with respect to age and parity. Midstream urine was sent for cytology and culture sensitivity. Samples from posterior fornix of vagina were taken with two sterilized swabs under direct vision using Cusco/Sims speculum before first vaginal examination and were studied for gram stain characteristics and culture sensitivity by standard methods. Microorganisms isolated on culture were noted, and antibiotics were given according to sensitivity. Data collected were analyzed according to the groups by χ(2) test for categorical variables.

RESULTS: In our study, urogenital infection was seen in 19 women in Case Group I (36.54 %) compared with 9 women in Control Group (17.3 %), and the difference was statistically significant (p 0.027).

CONCLUSION: Recognizing and treating the women having urogenital infections at a stage, when it has not become clinically evident, will decrease the percentage of women going into preterm labor and will improve the perinatal outcome.

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