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Montevideo units are a method of measuring uterine performance during labor. They were created in 1949 by two physicians, Caldeyro Barcia, Roberto and Hermogenes Alvarez, from Montevideo, Uruguay. Units are calculated by measuring uterine pressure above baseline tone and multiplying by the number of contractions in a 10 minute period. Uterine pressure is generally measured through an intrauterine pressure catheter.

If, for instance, uterine pressure above baseline were 50 mmHg, and during the 10 minute period of measurement 3 contractions occurred, total Montevideo units (MVUs) would be equal to 150 MVUs. Generally, above 200 MVUs is considered necessary for adequate labor during the active phase.




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