Does this test have other names?
What is this test?
This test measures the amount of fetal fibronectin (fFN). Fetal fibronectin is a protein
made during pregnancy. It's found between the lining of your uterus and the amniotic
sac that's protecting your baby. Fetal fibronectin works as a glue to hold the amniotic
sac to the uterine lining.
This test may help you find out whether you're at risk for premature delivery. The
protein is found in cervical and vaginal fluid during the first half of your pregnancy
and then disappears. It should reappear only in the last month before you deliver
when uterine contractions increase.
Why do I need this test?
You may need this test if you are at risk of delivering your baby prematurely. Your
healthcare provider may order this test if you are 22 to 35 weeks pregnant and have
any symptoms of premature labor. These include:
Pelvic pressure or cramping
Dull low backache
Uterine contractions every 10 minutes or more often
Change in vaginal discharge
Thinning or dilation of the cervix
Your provider may also order this test if you don't have symptoms but have a history
of preterm labor or if you have a short cervix.
What other tests might I have along with this test?
Your healthcare provider may also order a vaginal ultrasound if you test positive
for fFN but don't have signs of labor.
What do my test results mean?
Test results may vary depending on your age, gender, health history, the method used
for the test, and other things. Your test results may not mean you have a problem.
Ask your healthcare provider what your test results mean for you.
Your provider will report your results as either positive or negative. Positive means
fFN is present. Negative means fFN isn't present.
If you test positive but have no signs of labor, you may be at risk for both premature
labor and premature delivery. If you test positive and you have symptoms of premature
labor, your healthcare provider will want to watch you closely.
A negative test result means you're not likely to go into labor within the next 2
How is this test done?
The test needs a sample of cervical fluid and is much like a Pap test. Your healthcare
provider will put a speculum in your vagina. He or she will take a swab of cervical
fluid from the area just outside the opening of your cervix or from the back side
of the vagina.
Does this test pose any risks?
This test poses no known risks.
What might affect my test results?
Your test results may be affected by blood in the vagina, a yeast infection, the use
of lubricants or douches, or sex within 24 hours of the test. Certain health conditions
and certain medicines may cause extra bleeding.
How do I get ready for this test?
You don't need to prepare for this test. But you don't have sex within 24 hours of
the test. Also don't put anything, such as lubricants or douches, into your vagina
before the test.
Be sure your healthcare provider knows about all medicines, herbs, vitamins, and supplements
you are taking. This includes medicines that don't need a prescription and any illegal
drugs you may use.