Why it's done

The fetal fibronectin test is used to rule out preterm labor. It's generally not useful for women who are at low risk of preterm labor, but it can provide valuable information for women who have signs or symptoms of preterm labor or those who are at high risk of preterm labor.

If the fetal fibronectin test is positive, your health care provider will take steps to address premature birth — such as administering medication to enhance the baby's lung maturity. If the fetal fibronectin test is negative, you can be assured that you're unlikely to deliver within the next two weeks.

April 21, 2016
References
  1. Lockwood CJ. Diagnosis of preterm labor and overview of preterm birth. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Feb. 21, 2016.
  2. Fetal fibronectin. Lab Tests Online. https://labtestsonline.org/understanding/analytes/ffn/tab/sample/. Accessed Feb. 20, 2016.
  3. DeFranco EA, et al. Improving the screening accuracy for preterm labor: Is the combination of fetal fibronectin and cervical length in symptomatic patients a useful predictor of preterm birth? A systematic review. American Journal of Obstetetrics and Gynecology. 2013;208:233.
  4. Van Baaren GJ, et al. Risk factors for preterm delivery: Do they add to fetal fibronectin testing and cervical length measurement in the prediction of preterm delivery in symptomatic women? European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology. 2015;192:79.
  5. McLaren JS, et al. Prediction of spontaneous preterm birth using quantitative fetal fibronectin after recent sexual intercourse. American Journal of Obstetetrics and Gynecology. 2015;212:89.
  6. Wick MJ (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. March 23, 2016.