As temperatures rise, pregnant women risk early-term delivery

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Apr 02, 2014

Research indicates that being pregnant in summer months can cut short the length of pregnancy. So, if you want to make sure that you have full-term pregnancy, shift to a colder place before the mercury begins to soar up.

Early term deliveryThe research found that when the temperature reached 32 degrees Celsius or higher over four to seven days, a pregnant woman ran a 27 percent higher risk of early-term delivery compared with typical summer days.

Certain small scale studies have shown that heat-induced stress increases the contractibility of uterus during the period of pregnancy when thermoregulation is not as effective as it should be. The body maintains its core internal temperature by way of thermoregulation.

The researchers also suspect that dehydration caused by high ambient temperature reduced supply of blood to the uterus, thus increasing the amount of pituitary hormones released. These hormones are capable of inducing labour.

The research was done by conducting a study that involved data collected from 300,000 births that took place at Montreal in Canada between the years 1981 to 2010. The summer temperatures were also recorded during this time period.

The results found that extreme heat did not increase the number of pre-term births, but in women who had reached 37 or 38 weeks of pregnancy experienced a 17 percent increased risk of pre-term pregnancy.

Article source: TOI

Image source: Getty Images


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