FIGO good practice recommendations on modifiable causes of iatrogenic preterm birth

Catalina M. Valencia*, Ben W. Mol, Bo Jacobsson, FIGO Working Group for Preterm Birth

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
2 Downloads (Pure)


Iatrogenic preterm birth is a planned delivery that occurs before 37 weeks of gestation due to maternal and/or fetal causes. However, in some cases, such deliveries also occur with no apparent medical indication. The increasing numbers of iatrogenic preterm deliveries worldwide have led researchers to identify modifiable causes that allow the formulation of preventive strategies that could impact the overall preterm birth rate. The present document contains the FIGO (International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics) Working Group for Preterm Birth recommendations, aiming to reduce the rates of iatrogenic preterm birth based on four of the most common clinical scenarios and issues related to iatrogenic preterm delivery. The working group supports efforts to identify the contribution of iatrogenic preterm delivery to the overall preterm birth rate and encourages health authorities to establish preventive measures accordingly. We encourage care providers to maintain single embryo transfer policies to prevent multiple pregnancies as a substantial contributor of iatrogenic preterm birth. The working group also recommends that efforts to reduce unnecessary cesarean sections must be warranted, and mechanisms to ensure the appropriate time of delivery and strengthening of education and communication processes must be pursued.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8-12
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics
Issue number1
Early online date14 Sept 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Catalina M. Valencia reports no conflicts of interest. Ben W. Mol reports an investigator grant from NHMRC; consultancy for ObsEva; and research funding from Guerbet, Ferring, and Merck KGaA. Bo Jacobbson reports research grants from Swedish Research Council, Norwegian Research Council, March of Dimes, Burroughs Wellcome Fund and the US National Institute of Health; clinical diagnostic trials on NIPT with Ariosa (completed), Natera (ongoing), Vanadis (completed) and Hologic (ongoing) with expendidures reimbused per patient; clinical probiotic studies with product provided by FukoPharma (ongoing, no funding) and BioGaia (ongoing; also provided a research grant for the specific study); collaboration in IMPACT study where Roche, Perkin Elmer and Thermo Fisher provided reagents to PLGF analyses; coordination of scientific conferences and meetings with commercial partners as such as NNFM 2015, ESPBC 2016 and a Nordic educational meeting about NIPT and preeclampsia screening. Bo Jacobbson is also Chair of the FIGO Working Group for Preterm Birth and the European Association of Perinatal Medicine's special interest group of preterm delivery; steering group member of Genomic Medicine Sweden; chairs the Genomic Medicine Sweden complex diseases group; and is Swedish representative in the Nordic Society of Precision Medicine.


  • elective delivery
  • iatrogenic preterm birth
  • modifiable causes


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