During preterm labor, antibiotics may be used to treat or prevent an infection.
If an infection is causing your preterm labor, you will be treated with
antibiotics. The type of antibiotic used to treat the
infection depends on which bacteria are causing the infection. Antibiotics
commonly used during pregnancy include erythromycin, clindamycin, ampicillin,
gentamicin, and metronidazole.
Antibiotics don't always clear up
uterine infection or prevent
preterm labor. If a mother's uterus has become
infected and her fetus is mature enough, her doctor or nurse-midwife might not
attempt to delay the birth.
Preterm premature rupture of membranes (pPROM)
is when your water breaks (rupture of the amniotic sac) before 37 completed weeks of
pregnancy. When given to women
with pPROM, antibiotics may:1
Antibiotics are not a recommended treatment for women in
preterm labor whose amniotic sac has not ruptured (intact membranes). But some women do receive antibiotics for
group B strep prevention or treatment.
Haas DM (2011). Preterm birth, search date June 2010.
BMJ Clinical Evidence. Available online:
January 8, 2013
Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
& William Gilbert, MD - Maternal and Fetal Medicine
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