Penn Ob/Gyn Care

Prematurity Prevention

Premature birth is a serious health problem. Premature babies are at increased risk for newborn medical complications and face an increased risk of lifelong health problems. A premature delivery occurs before a mother has completed her 37th week of pregnancy. In the United States, about 12.8 percent of babies (more than half a million a year) are born prematurely.

The Prematurity Prevention Program's goal is to identify women who may be at risk for premature labor and/or delivery. The program's high-risk pregnancy specialists educate, evaluate, diagnose and treat women at risk for preterm delivery.

Women with one or more of the following conditions may be at increased risk for preterm birth:

  • Prior spontaneous preterm birth (24-36 weeks gestation)
  • Prior pregnancy loss (16-24 weeks gestation)
  • Multiple gestations (twins or more)
  • History of surgery to the cervix (prior LEEP or cone procedure)
  • Abnormal uterus or congenital Müllerian anomalies (i.e., septated uterus)
  • Other unspecified risk factors

Prematurity Prevention Program services include:

  • Consultations for women who are considering pregnancy or are pregnant and at risk for preterm birth.
  • Evaluation and diagnostic services, including cervical length measurement and bacterial infection screening when indicated.
  • Care options, such as progesterone or cerclage.
  • Education on preventable risk factors for preterm birth.
  • Education about the signs and symptoms of preterm labor.

Our Staff

The Prematurity Prevention Program is led by Michal Elovitz, MD, a Penn Medicine high-risk pregnancy specialist, who is a nationally recognized investigator and expert on preterm birth, and recipient of the March of Dimes Prematurity Research Initiative grant.


Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine
2000 Courtyard Building
3400 Spruce Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Penn Ob/Gyn Associates
3701 Market Street
3rd Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19104
A facility of the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania


For more information or to schedule an appointment with the Prematurity Prevention Program, please call 800-789-PENN.