Since going into preterm labor at 24 weeks and delivering at 25 weeks 3 years ago I have been trying to understand the causes and theories of preterm labor. I did have an irritable uterus, I did not have PROM or an incompetent cervix, labor just started too early. It was an otherwise textbook labor stretched out over the course of a week in the hospital while peri-natalogists used their very limited arsenal to slow down and try to stop my labor. (Weirdly enough, that meant being denied pain relief by nurses and other atypical hospital experiences...)
I did not have any of the known risk factors. I did have an irritable uterus. I started having strong braxton-hicks contractions that did not change my cervix starting at 16 weeks. It is assumed by all involved that my contractions did not become a problem until labor started and my cervix was ready. I went into the hospital after I realized that I was using my "coping" skills to deal with my back pain for many hours. I was "only" dialated to one.
Anyway, it turns out that the medical profession doesn't really know what causes preterm labor; this may be related to the fact that what (or who, baby or mama or both) exactly initiates labor! It seems as though every other health thing I research has a mainstream explanation and treatment and a more natural/holistic/alternative explanation and treatment. From what I can tell preterm labor has almost no explanations at all. Am I missing something? I like hard evidence, but are there also some off-the-wall theories out there?