Antibiotics to Treat and Prevent Infection During Preterm Labor
During preterm labor, antibiotics may be used to treat or prevent an infection.
Treatment with antibiotics
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.
Prevention with antibiotics after preterm premature rupture of membranes (pPROM)
Lower the risk of infection in the vagina and
Lower the risk of fetal infection.
Prevention with antibiotics with intact membranes
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:
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.