What does the fetal fibronectin (fFN) test mean?



if you go to the hospital experiencing contractions in your preterm your doctor may order a fetal fibronectin test or FFN and this basically involves a swab a sample from the cervix is collected and sent off and results usually don't take too long to come back and it will either be a positive or a negative result and what it's looking for is the presence of a protein that is an indicator of an increased risk for a preterm delivery this protein may be released from the body during times of inflammation or infection or contractions abruption where the placenta starts to prematurely detach from the uterine wall so all of these conditions put a woman at greater risk for preterm labor and thus the protein may be present and so if the result comes back negative then the likelihood that the woman will deliver in the next two weeks is not very high at all and so everyone takes a little sigh of relief although it's not an absolute if the result comes back positive you'll definitely be on your OB providers radar for being at risk for preterm delivery and the likelihood of delivering within the next one to two weeks is high with that said there are in some circumstances false positives especially if the woman was experiencing vaginal bleeding at the time of collection and there was any blood on the swab that's likely to make it falsely positive and that's taken into consideration because the feel fibronectin result is only reliable for two weeks at a time you may get multiple fetal fibronectin tests over the course of pregnancy if you're able to buy some time and continue on in the pregnancy but you're also still having signs of preterm labor in other words if I went into the hospital two weeks ago and had a negative fetal fibronectin test done and I went back in today because I was contracting you can expect to have another test repeated because the results are only good for two weeks at a time at the end of the day it's important whether the result is positive or negative to watch for signs of preterm labor and to get checked out as soon as possible if you experience lower abdominal cramping lower back ache abdominal tightening pressure any leaking of fluid or vaginal bleeding and they can perform an exam and determine if you are threatening to deliver early there are interventions that in some cases can delay labor and help by a woman sometime and keep that baby cooking longer it's always better to get checked out sooner rather than later because the sooner you're checked out the better the chance is that the interventions will help if you have more specific questions about your circumstances talk with your OB provider and they'll be able to offer you tailored information and advice if you have more questions in the future for me feel free to ask them on our intermountain moms Facebook and Instagram pages and recommend us to your friends and family too

2 Replies to “What does the fetal fibronectin (fFN) test mean?”

  1. I have a question I have my 4th baby in August 2019 I was wondering about an epidural I never had one with my other three baby’s no pain medicine is it true if I move I’ll get paralyzed?

  2. 12 weeks pregnant and my doctor said that my thyroid is enlarged and wants to run a test. She said it could just be pregnancy, but what are the other things it could be?

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