Premature Rupture of Membranes at Term

(PROM)

Definition

Premature rupture of membranes (PROM) at term is the breaking of the amniotic sac more than one hour before labor begins. The sac contains amniotic fluid and the developing baby. With PROM, 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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Call your doctor right away if you suspect that your water has broken.

Causes

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

Risk Factors

Factors that may increase your chance of PROM:
  • PROM in earlier pregnancies
  • Infection in the amniotic sac
  • Infections of the vagina, uterus, or membranes surrounding the fetus
  • Other infections in mother, such as, chlamydia
  • Early dilation or changes in the cervix
  • Bleeding during the pregnancy
  • Amniocentesis
  • Nutritional deficits
  • Low body mass index
  • Smoking during pregnancy

Symptoms

The main symptom of PROM is fluid leaking from the vagina. You may experience a sudden gush of fluid or a slow, constant trickle. It can be difficult to distinguish between a slow amniotic trickle or urine. Your doctor can do simple tests to determine this.Symptoms may include a fever above 100.4°F (38°C). If you have any of these symptoms, call your doctor right away.Complications from PROM may include:

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