General Category => Preterm Labor: Anything and Everything => Topic started by: Angela on May 05, 2009 at 12:32 AM

Title: fFN: A test every mom-to-be needs to know about
Post by: Angela on May 05, 2009 at 12:32 AM

The fetal fibronectin test is a very effective tool for determining when labor in eminent. Fetal fibronectin is a sticky protein that keeps the baby's fetal membranes attached to the mother's uterus during pregnancy. This protein is normally detected in vaginal secretions before 22 weeks and after 35 weeks when it begins to break down naturally . This test may show that fetal fibronectin is present, even before other signs of preterm labor occur. A negative result reassures you that there is more than a 99 percent chance you will not deliver within the next two weeks. A positive result does not guarantee that labor will occur within a specific time frame, but it does allow you and your doctor to treat the preterm labor more aggressively in order to prevent preterm birth.

You can learn more at
Title: Re: fFN: A test every mom-to-be needs to know about
Post by: maesmommy on June 12, 2009 at 03:41 PM
hi angela,

thanks for the information about the ffn test. i have a question. i interviewed a specialist to work with in my next pregnancy and asked him about ffn testing. he said he would not use it unless i were very symptomatic and would not test regularly because he thinks the results are not very informative and only makes patients nervous.

i didn't agree with this and am just wondering what you and other moms think about that? is this a bad sign about this doc? i would think that if i have a history of ptl, at a certain point in the pregnancy testing regularly would be a good idea, especially since with my history no one is really sure what's up with my cervix. do you know about when in a pregnancy one would start being tested? is it only after there has been an incidence of contractions? any thoughts would be very helpful. thank you!
Title: Re: fFN: A test every mom-to-be needs to know about
Post by: Angela on June 13, 2009 at 12:18 AM
Hmmm. I can only offer my personal opinion, but if it were me I would have hesitations after this doctor blew off the test so easily. It is FDA approved, has been studied by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and is supported by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).

I guess I see his point about it making women "nervous" if they get a positive result, but then that gives you the power to take action. Or more likely, inaction--more bed rest. Ha ha. Why not have the information to make an informed decision?

I don't know if you had a chance to check out how the test works, so I'll put a link here: It's really pretty cool. FFN is a protein that should not be present in vaginal secretions between 22 weeks and 35 weeks, so I would guess a doctor would want to test every two weeks from 22 to 34 weeks. If you weren't having any preterm labor symptoms and/or your cervix was looking long and closed on ultrasound, I could see why they would test less often.

I'll pose this question on Twitter, and we can see what other moms think...

Title: Re: fFN: A test every mom-to-be needs to know about
Post by: chukwumaonyeije on June 13, 2009 at 11:22 AM
Greeting KeepEmCookin readers!

First of all for the sake of full disclosure let me just say that I am a physician and I not only use the fFn test extensively in my high risk practice, but I'm also on the speakers bureau for a company that markets the ffn test.

With all due respect to my colleague who would only offer an fFn test to someone who is symptomatic... There are many other uses of the test that are well described in asymptomatic and at risk patients.

These uses of the test can be found in the medical literature. You can also see many of the reasons for doing the test at

More importantly. For the patient who is at risk knowledge of ffn status can be empowering and/or reassuring. A positive test alerts your doctor to take action. A negative test allows everyone the opportunity to "take a deep breath" and relax for the immediate future.

Keep in mind that ffn is one tool in the preterm labor "bag of tricks". It may or may not be necessary for your individual pregnancy. What's important is that your doctor discuss which options apply for your individual case and not dismiss possible modalities.

This is my perspective and I hope it helps.

Chukwuma I. Onyeije, M. D.
Maternal-Fetal Medicine specialist.
Title: Re: fFN: A test every mom-to-be needs to know about
Post by: lissy on July 15, 2009 at 01:59 PM
I have had two preterm births (both now very healthy) and am now entering week 15 with baby number three. My previous doctor was a specialist in high risk pregnancies so I felt very safe in his treatment. He placed me on progesterone shots and refused any type of modified activies or bedrest even as contractions were in full force. He even asked me during one of my visits with him if "I was having problems at home". My face looked like this  >:( I was so angry and insulted I was at a loss for words. Unfortunately, I was too far along to change Dr's (believe me I tried). My son was born at 34 weeks and was in the NICU for a week. It was one of the hardest weeks for me - I would not even allow pictures because I did not want to remember the horror of that week.

I went back to him for this baby and have officially FIRED him. I did extensive research and found a maternal fetal specialist who only treats women who are at high risk. Bottom line is - if you don't like the Dr find another one as quickly as possible...
The best of luck to you and all women on this board!