fFN (Fetal Fibronectin) Testing

Glossary of Terms

Contractions

When the muscles of your uterus get tight and then relax. Contractions help push your baby out of your uterus.

Fetal fibronectin

A "glue-like" protein that bonds your baby to your uterus. When your body is getting ready for delivery, this glue breaks down and leaks from the uterus.

Full term

A pregnancy that lasts from 38 to 42 weeks.

Fetal fibronectin test(fFN)

A safe, reliable, non-invasive test — similar to a Pap test — that measures the level of fetal fibronectin. This test indicates whether you may be at increased risk for premature labor.

Gestation

Pregnancy

Induced labor

When your doctor gives you medication to make you start labor.

Labor

The process of giving birth to a baby; also called childbirth.

Maternity

Having to do with being pregnant or being a mother. For example, pregnant women wear maternity clothes.

Pap test

A screening test, usually for cancer of the female genital tract, in which a sample is taken using a swab and is then sent to a lab for processing and a test result.

Premature baby

A baby born too early, before 37 completed weeks of pregnancy.

Preterm labor

Labor that occurs before 37 completed weeks of pregnancy.

Negative test result

Means that the presence of fetal fibronectin has not been detected (<50ng/mL).

Non-invasive

Means that no cutting or drawing of blood is involved in the procedure.

Positive test result

Means that the abnormal presence (>=50ng/mL) of fetal fibronectin has been detected, and that you therefore may be at increased risk of having your baby early. It is important to note that a positive test result does not mean that a patient will definitely deliver early, but rather indicates an increased risk for delivering early.

Spontaneous delivery

When a baby is born without being induced.

Swab

A small piece of absorbent material attached to the end of a stick used for obtaining a specimen.

Uterus

(Also called the womb.) A pear-shaped organ that holds and nourishes your growing baby during pregnancy.

Womb

(Also called the uterus.) A pear-shaped organ that holds and nourishes your growing baby during pregnancy.

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