Sympathetic reactivity in late pregnancy is related to labour onset in women
2011 (English)In: Stress, ISSN 1025-3890, Vol. 14, no 6, 627-633 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Stress regulation during pregnancy is considered to be connected to the timing of labour initiation. Although increasing knowledge is emerging on the regulation of parturition, there is currently no way to predict the start of spontaneous labour in women. The main aim of this study was to assess pain threshold and the sympathetic nervous system response to cold pain in relation to the onset of labour in healthy pregnant women. Ninety-three pregnant women were recruited and assessed for skin conductance (SC) activity during a cold pressor test in gestational week 38. Pain threshold and cold endurance were also measured and the results were compared with data obtained from hospital records. Seventy-four women had a spontaneous labour onset and a valid SC measurement. SC activity during the cold pressor test decreased significantly with the number of days left to spontaneous parturition. This may indicate a gradual decrease in sympathetic autonomic nervous system reactivity even during the last weeks of pregnancy. Measuring SC activity during mild stress provocation is a rapid and non-invasive means to study variation in sympathetic reactivity during pregnancy, and may be useful in research on stress regulation in pregnancy and its relation to labour initiation.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 14, no 6, 627-633 p.
Cold pressor test, initiation of labour, pain threshold, pregnancy, skin conductance, sympathetic activity
Medical and Health Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-161450DOI: 10.3109/10253890.2011.614662ISI: 000295891600006OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-161450DiVA: diva2:456701