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Z Geburtshilfe Neonatol. 1998 Nov-Dec;202(6):247-50.

[Initial results of the Erfurt Prevention of Prematurity Campaign].

[Article in German]

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Frauenklinik Erfurt.



Genital infection particularly bacterial vaginosis (BV) increases the relative risk of prematurity. Detection of disturbances of vaginal milieu at an early stage and the use of suitable countermeasures such as intervention with antimicrobial substances, e.g. clindamycin, can reduce the preterm birth rate, provided the diagnosis is made early enough.


Since October 1996 pregnant women being given prenatal care in 16 of the 29 outpatient offices in Erfurt, have been informed about the Prematurity Prevention Programme and have been offered to take part and to perform self-measurements of their vaginal pH twice a week in order to screen for any disturbances in the vaginal milieu. Special CarePlan-VpH gloves (Selfcare, Oberhaching) were used to identify patients a risk (pH > 4.7). The pregnant women taking part in the programme were instructed to see their physician immediately, if abnormal values were present, in order to get them confirmed and to start lactobacillus acidophilus therapy (Gynoflor, Nourypharma, Oberschleissheim) or, in case of BV, to treat with clindamycin cream (Sobelin, Upjohn, Erlangen) i.vag. Patients being given prenatal care in the 13 outpatient offices not participating and other pregnant women in Erfurt who were not interested in the programme served as control group.


Up to now 59 out of 314 women in the intervention group have been identified as risk cases (p > or = 4.7). 52 of them were treated with a lactobacillus preparation, and 19 additionally with clindamycin cream, 3 patients refused to have any therapy. In this ongoing study the prematurity rate was 8.3% in the self-measurement/intervention group vs. 13.0% in the control group (n = 1,842); 0.3% vs. 3.3% of the neonates belonged to the group of very early prematures with a gestational age of < 32 + 0 weeks (p < 0.01). PROM was registered in 22.3% vs. 32.1% (p < 0.001) respectively.


Self-measurement of vaginal pH at close intervals, as recommended by Saling, leads to the early identification of women at risk for prematurity. Earliest possible intervention by the obstetrician appears to result in reducing the rate of prematures and in particular of very early prematures (< 32 + 0 weeks).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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