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the premature ending of pregnancy, the birth of a premature infant. According to various statistics, 2.5 to 5–6 percent of all births are premature. There are various causes of premature birth. Some are associated with the fetus, and others with the mother. The causes include congenital defects in the development of the ovum, hydramnios, anomalies of placental attachment, improper fetal position, gestoses, previous abortions, multiple pregnancy, chronic and acute infections (brucellosis, toxoplasmosis, listeriosis, influenza, tonsillitis, viral hepatitis), inflammatory processes of the sexual organs, neoplasms, infantilism, and muscular insufficiency of the upper uterine cervix. Neuroendocrine disorders (ovarian and thyroid functional disturbances, diabetes) can also cause premature birth. Women with diseases of the kidneys, liver, and cardiovascular and nervous systems often give birth prematurely.
Conservative treatment is directed toward removing the basic causes of the premature birth. Surgery is required when there is muscular insufficiency of the upper uterine cervix. Treatment is administered before and during pregnancy. Preventive and therapeutic measures are directed toward detecting and removing the basic causes of premature birth. Such measures consist primarily of prenatal care of both the mother and fetus.
REFERENCESPersianinov, L. S. “Profilaktika i lechenie pri nedonashivanii beremennosti.” In Zhenskaia konsul’tatsiia, 2nd ed. Minsk, 1962.
Konstantinov, V. I. “Nedonashivanie i perenashivanie beremennosti.” In Mnogotomnoe rukovodstvo po akusherstvu i ginekologii, vol. 3, book 1. Moscow, 1964.
Bodiazhina, V. I., A. I. Liubimova, and I. S. Rozovskii. Privychnyi vykidysh. Moscow, 1973.
O. K. NIKONCHIK