Tests during pregnancy:Fetal Fibronectin Test (fFN)How is the test performed and how accurate is it?
Fetal Fibronectin Test
During fetal fibronectin (fFN) testing, a cervical or vaginal fluid sample is collected and analyzed for fFN. fFN is a glycoprotein found at the boundary between the amniotic sac and the lining of the uterus. If a woman is experiencing symptoms of preterm labor and is 26 to 34 weeks pregnant, her doctor will order the fFN test. High levels indicate an increased risk of preterm delivery. If the results come back high measures can be taken to delay birth and to help better prepare the baby for birth. This is because pre-term babies can have potentially serious health complications. The fetal fibronectin (fFN) test can't tell you for sure that you are in labor, but it can tell you that you're not. A negative result on the fFN test means it's highly unlikely that you'll give birth within the next two weeks. A positive result, on the other hand, is not as useful. It means you're at a higher risk of giving birth early, but it doesn't guarantee that you're about to give birth or that you'll deliver early at all. If you're having symptoms of preterm labor, your practitioner may also order an ultrasound to see if your cervix is effacing (thinning out). During true labor, the cervix effaces and dilates (opens) so your baby can come out. If your cervix doesn't appear to be changing, it's another sign that you're not in labor.
For the test, your doctor will insert a speculum in your vagina and take a sample of your cervical and vaginal secretions. You'll feel no more discomfort than you do when you get a Pap smear. If you have had sex or used lubricants within the last 24 hours, tell your doctor-this may cause a false-positive. When lab technicians analyze your sample, they measure the amount of fetal fibronectin (fFN), a protein produced by the fetal membranes. This protein serves as the "glue" that attaches the fetal sac to the uterine lining. It's normally found in increased amounts in your vagina during the first half of pregnancy and again late in pregnancy as you near labor. But if fFN leaks from the uterus and more than a small amount shows up in the vagina too early (between 22 and 34 weeks), it may mean that the glue is disintegrating ahead of schedule because of contractions or an injury to the membranes. If this happens, your risk of going into labor and giving birth prematurely is significantly higher. More important, if no fetal fibronectin is found in your sample, it means your risk of giving birth in the next two weeks is very small. You should expect to see test results within a day or two, or within several hours if you're taking the rapid version of the test. Comments: Tests during pregnancy - Fetal-Fibronectin-Test-(fFN)
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1245 days ago.
I will be 25 weeks tomorrow and was supposed to have this test done yesterday, but my Dr's office also scheduled an ultrasound to check cervical length that day too. With all their infinate wisdom, they did the u/s before the test and were unable to do the test because the u/s was vaginal and the gel can cause innaccurate results! Now I have to wait anther 4 weeks before they will do the test. Worries me. sherrybabydean
1314 days ago.
I had this test done.Mine came out positive and I delivered a few weeks later ,two months early.