Q&A: What Is a Fetal Fibronectin Test?

My doctor says I need a fetal fibronectin test. What the heck is that?
ByAshley S. Roman, MD
OB-GYN
Updated
Feb 2017
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Fetal fibronectin is a protein that’s normally present in a pregnant woman’s uterus. It’s thought to be the glue holding the bag of water to the uterus. If your doctor says you need this test, it’s likely because you have a condition that puts you at risk for preterm birth, such as you’re carrying multiples or you had a previous preterm birth. For the test, your doctor will test a swab of your vaginal secretions to see if there’s fetal fibronectin present. If there is, it could be a sign your body is getting ready for labor early and gives your doctor a heads-up that she may need to take measures to help prevent you from delivering prematurely.

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