Preterm Premature Rupture of Membranes

(PPROM)

Definition

Preterm premature rupture of membranes (PPROM) is when the amniotic sac breaks before 37 weeks of gestation and labor has not started within one hour. The sac contains amniotic fluid and the developing baby. In PPROM, the amniotic fluid inside the sac leaks or gushes out of the vagina. This is also known as your water breaking.
Fetus with Amniotic Sac
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Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.
PPROM increases the risks of certain pregnancy complications, including: Call your doctor right away if you suspect that your water has broken.

Causes

PPROM is caused by weakening and/or thinning of the opening of the membrane.

Risk Factors

Factors that may increase your chance of PPROM:
  • PPROM in earlier pregnancies
  • Infection in the amniotic sac
  • Other infections in mother (chlamydia, bacterial vaginosis)
  • Preterm labor
  • Amniocentesis
  • Bleeding during the second and third trimester
  • Certain procedures used to treat abnormal conditions of the cervix (such as cervical conization)
  • Lung disease during pregnancy
  • Connective tissue disease
  • Nutritional deficits
  • Low body mass index
  • Low socio-economic status
  • Smoking during pregnancy

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