Many women living in rural and remote Australia are required to travel large distances to birth in a hospital with maternity facilities, incurring considerable financial, social and emotional burden for them and their families. No studies to date have investigated the use of quantitative fetal fibronectin (qfFN) to predict term labour in asymptomatic pregnant women. A tool which is able to more accurately predict term labour has the potential to guide informed travel decision‐making for women and healthcare professionals in rural and remote Australia.
The aim of this study is to determine if qfFN can reliably predict term labour in asymptomatic women from rural and remote areas.
Materials and Methods
Thirty‐nine women from rural Australia provided 71 fFN samples between June 2016 and October 2018, from 37 weeks’ gestation, with at least one week between samples for those providing multiple samples. Days from fFN sampling until spontaneous onset of labour were recorded. Using generalised estimating equation modelling we examined the utility of fFN as a predictor for onset of labour at term after adjusting for confounders.
There was a small‐to‐moderate negative correlation (rs −0.27, P < 0.05) between time until labour and fFN. Quantitative fFN was observed to be a significant predictor of time until labour after adjusting for confounding variables (P < 0.001). Conclusion fFN levels may play a role in predicting term labour in rural women; however, future studies with a larger sample size are required to validate the findings of our pilot study.