Premature Rupture of Membranes at Term
DefinitionPremature 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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CausesPROM is caused by weakening and/or thinning of the opening of the membrane.
Risk FactorsFactors 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
- Nutritional deficits
- Low body mass index
- Smoking during pregnancy
SymptomsThe 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:
- Infection in baby
- Infection in uterus
- Placenta separates from the uterus before the baby is delivered—placental abruption
- Umbilical cord is squeezed between the baby and the pelvis—Prolapsed umbilical cord
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