False contractions: when begin, how long last, the sensations, how to determine

, medical expert
Last reviewed: 23.04.2024

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When a woman is pregnant, the woman listens to her body more than ever: the baby has stirred, and the stomach has pulled a little - and this? Is it really a fight? But it's too early, is not it? In fact, contractions can appear in a future mother and long before the onset of labor. True, these are only false fights that do not lead to the onset of labor. Why are they needed and how not to confuse them with the real ones?

As a rule, a pregnant woman is overwhelmed by a lot of questions. And, if there is no concrete answer to such questions, then the excitement grows - especially if the expected date of delivery is approaching. We, in turn, will try to answer the most common questions about false fights.



According to statistics, women can find themselves in a false fight after the twentieth week of gestation. However, more often - in about 70% of women - they appear after 37-38 weeks.

No more than 5% of expectant mothers do not feel false labor for the entire period of pregnancy (although this does not mean that they are not).

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Causes of the false bouts

False contractions - this is an absolutely normal periodic state during pregnancy, when the future mother feels the increasing tension of the uterine organ with the subsequent relaxation. Nevertheless, even these fights are not without reason: often the impetus for their emergence is certain circumstances, or reasons:

  • physical activity (gymnastic exercises of various intensity, walking, cleaning at home, washing, etc.);
  • reception of water procedures (bathing, shower, bath);
  • increased intrauterine activity of the baby;
  • inaccuracies in the diet (eating chocolate, cocoa, coffee, strong tea);
  • the moment of experience, fear, anxiety;
  • sexual contact;
  • smoking (even passive);
  • unblooded bladder;
  • a bad dream, or his absence;
  • riding on any transport (bus, car, train, etc.);
  • lack of vitamins and fluids in the body.

Sensations of periodic stress of the uterus can be observed after the twentieth week of pregnancy. These are quite normal sensations, which should be taken for granted.

False contractions for a few days before delivery can be somewhat more intensive, and have a more specific reason - this is the preparation of the body for the beginning of labor. In this case, contractions are often called "training" - the muscles of the uterine organ are prepared for the upcoming event, and also prepare the woman herself for the sensations that await her ahead.


Risk factors

Why do some women have false bouts appear only shortly before the birth, and in others - a few months before the baby's birth?

Presumably, the cause of this phenomenon may be individual risk factors:

  • excessive impressionability of the future mother (the so-called labile nervous system);
  • frequent physical activity (pregnant athletes, manual workers);
  • malnutrition and lifestyle (lack of exercise, overweight, lack of fresh air, etc.);
  • hereditary predisposition.

If a woman often feels prolonged false bouts long before delivery, it is necessary to consult a doctor in a women's consultation: it is very important not to confuse such fights with hypertension of the uterus and the threat of premature termination of pregnancy.

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Specialists are not yet able to give an accurate answer to the question of the pathogenesis of false fights, which have much in common with real prenatal uterine contractions, but do not yet indicate a rapid onset of labor. However, some excerpts and conclusions of scientists are still available:

  • During false labor, the muscle groups of the uterus contract in increasing amplitude, but the neck does not open, and labor does not begin.
  • False contractions can be detected with the onset of the second half of pregnancy. But most often - about 70% of them are said, starting at 37 weeks.
  • Individual women do not suspect that they have false bouts: they take them for periodic gravity in the abdomen.
  • Whether there are false fights, or they are not present, neither that, nor another does not specify presence of any pathology of process of vynashivanija.
  • At the time of false bouts the placenta is saturated with oxygen, the trophism of tissues improves, the fetus receives much more nutrition.
  • False contractions shortly before birth contribute to the softening and shortening of the cervix, which serves as a certain preparation of the uterus for the generic process.

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Symptoms of the false bouts

False skirmishes are difficult to confuse with real fights, and this is indicated by a number of signs.

So, a false alarm can occur from 2 to several times a day, and it feels like an involuntary buildup of stress in the uterine musculature.

The first signs of a false fight occur paroxysmally: an attack can last from half a minute to 1-2 minutes. At this time, the uterus seems to shrink, but then gradually relaxes. As such, painful sensations usually do not happen.

The harbingers of false bouts can manifest as a small numbness of the lower abdomen, insignificant pulling sensations similar to those in the first days of menstruation.

  • How many false fights? Approximately 1-2 minutes, no more. In addition to the duration, it is necessary to pay attention to other important symptoms:
  1. feeling of growing and weakening spasm inside the abdomen (sometimes in the groin area);
  2. irregular occurrence of fights;
  3. unpredictability of the onset of contractions;
  4. lack of rhythm.
  • Do false battles always bring discomfort and pain? Such feelings are individual: if in some women false fights cause the most unpleasant sensations, then in others they can flow almost imperceptibly. However, doctors insist: pain in false bouts should not arise. If there is pain, then it's better not to hesitate and see a doctor.
  • What should be the interval between false struggles? The interval of false fights is absent - that is, it can be arbitrary. This is a cardinal difference from these prenatal fights, which are characterized by equal time intervals.
  • Can there be false fights at night? False bouts can occur at any time of the day, including at night. In some women, such feelings occur only at night, although this is individual and can not be an indicator of either the norm or pathology.
  • Can painful false bouts appear on the 35th, 36th, 37th, 38th, 39th, 40th week of pregnancy? As a rule, false bouts are not accompanied by pain. A little soreness is allowed if such contractions occur in the last 2 weeks of pregnancy. However, the pain in this case should not be severe cutting, should not give back, coccyx, back. Increasing morbidity is characteristic of real bouts - and this is one of the main differences, which we'll talk about a little later.
  • If a false fight a week - this means that soon give birth? No, not always. In some future mothers, false bouts begin to manifest themselves as early as 20-30 weeks: as you know, it is not necessary to speak about the imminent beginning of labor activity in these cases.
  • Can there be regular false bouts? No, false fights just differ in their irregularity and unpredictability. Regularity is characteristic of true contractions.
  • Are fake bouts in the miscarriages different from those in the first pregnancy? Indeed, with repeated pregnancies a woman can practically not feel false bouts. Moreover, they almost never disturb a woman with a reproductive age until 32 weeks, and the majority - up to 37 weeks. The reason is that the woman's body already once (or more than once) had the practice of passing births, so his muscular system is initially ready for such stresses.
  • When does delivery occur after false labor? There is no clear relationship between the appearance of false labor and the early onset of labor. However, if such fights have occurred after 37 weeks, it is considered that before delivery can take another 7-14 days.

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False contractions do not have clearly defined stages, as in true battles. This is considered the main distinguishing feature.

Let's remind, that true fights proceed in three stages:

  • the initial stage lasts up to 8 hours (contractions of 30-45 seconds, with an interval of five minutes and a cervical opening up to 3 cm);
  • the active stage lasts an average of 4 hours (contractions are minute, with an interval of 2-3 minutes, with a cervical opening from three to seven centimeters);
  • the transition phase can last up to an hour and a half (contractions of 1-1.5 minutes, with minimal gaps, with a cervical opening from seven to ten centimeters).

If a woman has already given birth earlier, then the duration of labor in her almost always decreases.

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False skirmishes in another way are called training, or Braxton Hicks fights. All of the above terms, in fact, are synonymous.

The false contractions of Braxton are considered not only not pathological, but also in some way useful for prenatal preparation of the organism. Thanks to them, a woman learns to breathe, relax and relieve pain.

During the entire period of fetal growth, the female body changes. For example, the uterus from the moment of conception to the time of onset of labor activity increases in size about five hundred times - one can imagine what loads the muscular system of the organ has to bear. And in order that during labor the strained muscles of the uterus can qualitatively contract to ensure the child's exit, the uterus must be trained in advance.

False encounters Hicks - this is the very training of the muscular uterine framework. Simultaneously, during such a kind of training, there is an additional supply of oxygen to the fetus - and the benefits are undeniable.

Therefore, one should not think that there is a danger in false battles, on the contrary! It's just the preparation of the uterus, the placenta and the woman herself for the upcoming difficult birth of the child.


Complications and consequences

False contractions are a normal natural phenomenon in pregnant women. Therefore, such fights can not have any adverse consequences - thus the body is simply preparing for the upcoming birth pressures.

However, if in the process of fights their periodicity is found, morbidity grows, then, probably, the delivery will soon begin. You can not skip such an increase in signs. A woman in such a situation should cause an "ambulance" and go to the hospital.

Do not be afraid of false bouts - remember that this is completely natural and absolutely normal process, which is a preparation for the birth of the baby. It is important not to worry at the moment of false bouts, but simply to listen to the signals of your body and expect real true battles to come true.

To suspect a pathology at false fights it is possible in such cases:

  • the tension of the uterus is accompanied by pain, as in menstruation;
  • along with tension from the genital cleft blood is allocated;
  • there are strange discharge from the vagina;
  • there is a pressure in the lower abdomen;
  • the amniotic fluid leaves;
  • there are pains in other parts of the body - for example, in the lower back or in the groin.

If any of the listed signs are found, then it should be urgently consulted with the doctor.

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Diagnostics of the false bouts

If the future mother doubts whether the fights are false, then you should go to the maternity ward or to your gynecologist. The doctor will diagnose and clarify the picture.

  • Analyzes in the third trimester in the presence of false bouts - this is usually a general analysis of blood and urine. Such studies are conducted several times throughout the gestation period. Shortly before birth, urine is evaluated for lack of protein, and blood for normal glucose. Blood clotting indicators are also important - in order to assess the risk of bleeding in labor.
  • Instrumental diagnosis in false bouts necessarily includes examination of the cervix on the gynecological chair. If the contractions are true, the doctor will detect a gradual opening of the cervix. With a false alarm, the cervix does not change. In addition to the examination, a type of study is carried out, such as CTG. This procedure allows you to assess the regularity of muscular tension in the uterus, and also to track the state of the unborn child. Often, a woman's complaints about false bouts are not entirely true, as pain sensitivity is different for all people. KTG will help in this case to describe how abbreviations are regular and intense. False contractions on CTG do not have the same intervals, and the child behaves normally and does not show restless behavior.

How to determine false fights?

A woman can do it herself - it's enough to simply calculate the frequency of muscle tension. Since the beginning of the stress of the uterus, time is ticked - and counted until the end of the bout. Next, notice the time before the subsequent muscle strain. Such notes should be kept for at least an hour - this is the only way to reach certain conclusions.

If the contractions are becoming more frequent, and the muscle tension itself is lengthened, then this situation is similar to the onset of labor.

If the contractions become less frequent, or appear chaotically, and their duration decreases - then, most likely, the alarm turned out to be false.

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Differential diagnosis

Differential diagnosis of training fights is carried out with premature detachment of the normally located placenta.

Premature detachment of a normally located placenta is characterized by such basic signs as bleeding and pain sensations. Additional symptoms are:

  • pain in the uterus during palpation;
  • increased uterine tone;
  • oxygen deficiency of the fetus.

It is equally important to distinguish between false and real contractions.

How to distinguish false bouts from the real ones? Perhaps, the following scheme will help in this:


False bouts

True fights

There is a pain that is gradually increasing



Increases the duration of the bout



The amniotic fluid



Contractions are irregular, there is no obvious rhythm



Increases the intensity of the voltage, which lasts 60 seconds or more



Smoothes are smoothed by changing the position of the trunk, or when walking



There is a gradual opening and softening of the cervix



Pressure is felt in the groin



Within an hour, less than 4 uterus stresses



Who to contact?

Treatment of the false bouts

Let us repeat once again: false fights are not a pathology, so we do not need to treat them. But how to ease the pain - can false pains sometimes be painful? Of course, this condition can not be called absolutely comfortable. But, if the sensations are really intolerable (which is rare enough), then it is possible to resort to some measures to facilitate the well-being of the future mother.

For example, it is very important to learn the right breathing during pregnancy. Usually breathing exercises are practiced in a women's consultation - so the doctor teaches women to ease their condition during the birth process. The practice of breathing exercises helps to cope not only directly in childbirth, but also in false bouts.

If false bouts prevent a woman from fully resting, then everything possible should be done to ensure the most comfortable sleep. For this you can use additional pillows and blankets, include light music (by the way, it will be useful for the baby), ask relatives to do a light massage. In such conditions, contractions may be weakened, and sleep will gradually improve.

Are they admitted to the hospital with false bouts?

As a rule, if at the reception the doctor discovers a woman's fights, then she lets her go home. In the hospital remain only pregnant women with true contractions, or those who are diagnosed with pathology of pregnancy. In the latter case, the future mother is identified in the department of pregnancy pathology, where she can spend the rest of the period until the very birth.

If you come to the hospital with false bouts, and you have any additional complaints - do not hesitate to tell them about the doctor. Sometimes, especially in later periods, even an insignificant at first sight symptom can be of great and even vital importance.


With individual need, the doctor can prescribe medications to reduce discomfort in false bouts, and also to prepare the uterine neck for the forthcoming birth.

  • But-shpa at false bouts is appointed or nominated since 38 weeks, on 1 tab. Three times a day.
  • Estrogen can be used - in tablets or injections, at the discretion of the doctor.
  • It is recommended to add vegetable oil. It contains a large amount of arachidonic acid, which serves as the main component for the turnover of prostaglandins in skeletal muscles.
  • If necessary, the doctor may prescribe the introduction of special gel preparations with prostaglandins in the vaginal vault or in the region of the cervical canal. An analogue is a stick of kelp - an old medicinal product that contains a huge amount of prostaglandins.
  • To reduce the tone of the uterus, β-adrenomimetics (Partusisten, Brikanil, Alupent in the form of intravenous drippers for 2-3 hours) can be used.
  • Papaverin in case of false bouts can be prescribed concomitantly with Na-shpa tablets - daily for one suppository per night. Papaverin is an antispasmodic. It helps soften the uterine neck and eliminate painful sensations in false bouts.

There are many different drug regimens for the relief of a woman's condition shortly before birth. For example, you can combine β-adrenomimetics and Dexamethasone (glucocorticoid hormones are the trigger for the onset of the birth process - an increase in the concentration of cortisol in the amniotic fluid occurs due to the function of the adrenal glands of the unborn child). Of course, medication is not prescribed to all women - usually those who belong to the risk groups, as well as those who are supposed to have abnormal labor (for example, in pathologies of the uterus). The appointment of antispasmodics without the need can lead to further weakness of labor or to a pregnancy.


In the second half of pregnancy, when periodic false bouts can already be observed, a woman needs vitamins more than ever - and most of all in ascorbic acid, vitamin K, E and D. The main vitamins can be obtained from foods - vegetables, fruits, berries. Many useful substances are found in greenery, nuts and seeds. For a full-fledged intake of vitamin D in the body should often be in the sun, in the fresh air.

In the last trimester of pregnancy, calcium is lost from the organism of the expectant mother - it is used to strengthen and form the bone apparatus of the baby. To avoid possible problems, you need to use sour-milk products - cottage cheese, fermented milk, as well as whole milk and hard cheese.

In addition, the female body needs iodine - it can be obtained from seaweed and figs, as well as in iron - it is found in large quantities in apples, pomegranates, dried fruits.

At a time when a woman already has false bouts, you must carefully think about the diet. The body should receive in sufficient quantities all the nutrients: only in this case it can guarantee the absence of malfunctions with the health of both the future mother and the baby.

Physiotherapeutic treatment

When there are false bouts, there is no special need for physiotherapeutic treatment. Recall that false bouts - this is normal for the third trimester of pregnancy, but not a pathological condition. If desired, a woman can resort to toning methods of physiotherapy - a rain, dust, fan shower, light massage of the neck and collar zone and the scalp, a partial wiping of the body.

If the future mother suffers from nervousness and anxiety, then such methods can be shown to her:

  • audiovisual relaxation;
  • coniferous aromatherapy;
  • drinking mineral waters with a high content of trace elements.

In rare cases, when a woman feels tired and exhausted, electrosleep, bromine-magnesium-electrophoresis is used on the collar zone, aeroionization of the facial area and the area of the projection of the respiratory tract, oxygen therapy, ultraviolet irradiation on a slowed-down basis.

Alternative treatment

To eliminate the discomfort during false bouts some alternative methods can help:

  • You can change the position of the body, walk around the room, do light gymnastics;
  • you can wash with warm water, take a warm shower (but not hot!);
  • you can drink 200-300 ml of clean water (dehydration aggravates discomfort from contractions);
  • be sure to relax as much as possible and slowly, deeply breathe.

Many offer during training fights to try to distract: listen to your favorite artist, read a book or look through a magazine, watch an engaging show or a film.

Such simple methods can not completely get rid of false bouts. However, they will help to smooth the unpleasant sensations and improve the well-being of the future mother.

trusted-source[30], [31], [32], [33], [34], [35]

Herbal Treatment

The use of any herbs during pregnancy without the approval of a doctor is strictly prohibited, and every pregnant woman knows this. Those recipes that offer herbalists to ease the condition with false bouts and to prepare for labor are not all women can benefit. Therefore, a doctor's consultation before starting treatment with herbs is necessary.

  • Tea made from crimson leaves - improves the adaptation of the uterus in childbirth, relieves pain.
  • Infusion of thyme - regulates uterine contractions, but can accelerate the onset of labor.
  • Tea from the leaves of muscatine sage - prevents the appearance of pain during labor.
  • Tea made from wild rose berry - prepares the body for excessive physical exertion.
  • Tea from berries of hawthorn - allows to soften spasms and prevent bleeding.
  • Infusion on the grass of field horsetail and cranberry leaves - effectively eliminates edema in late pregnancy.
  • Infusion on birch buds - increases the endurance of the female body.

To make tea on herbs take 1 tbsp. L. Grass (with a slide), brewed in 1 liter of boiling water, insist about 15 minutes under the lid. Drink in a warm form of 100 ml three times a day for half an hour before meals.


With unpleasant false bouts and to prepare for labor after 37 weeks, the use of homeopathic remedies is allowed:

  • Aconite - take with irregular pain, anxiety, anxiety.
  • Alietris farinoza - take with muscle pain, loss of strength.
  • Arnica - helps to reduce pain and prevent bleeding.
  • Belladonna - makes you feel better with false bouts.
  • Kaulofillum - eliminates the tension of the muscles of the uterus and cervix, can stimulate generic activity.
  • Hamomilla - relieves pain, eliminates anxiety.
  • Tsimitsifuga take for ease before childbirth, 1 grains before bedtime for a week.
  • Nuks vomica - taken with poor health during labor, until fainting.

Homeopathic remedies, as well as herbal treatment, should be approved by a doctor who leads a woman's pregnancy.


Operative treatment in false battles is not practiced.


Prevention of painful false bouts should begin long before they occur. It is important to get rid of bad habits - smoking and drinking alcohol (we hope that you got rid of them before the beginning of pregnancy planning).

In the future, preventive measures can be as follows:

  • quality and prolonged sleep (8 to 9 hours daily);
  • rest, minimization of physical activity;
  • lack of stress, positive attitude;
  • respiratory exercises, exercise therapy for pregnant women, light massage of the neck and shoulder girdle;
  • changes in diet - should abandon fried and fatty dishes, exclude salt, smoked products, chocolate, sweets.

It is necessary to include enough vitamins in the diet. They are in sufficient quantities present in plant foods, in compote of dried fruits or berries.

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False contractions in the third trimester - this is the absolute norm, and from their appearance is not insured by any pregnant woman. If you register for a woman's consultation in a timely manner, follow all the doctor's recommendations and take regular tests and take tests, then false bouts will not be painful and will bring a minimum of discomfort to a future mother.


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