Premature rupture of membranes occur when your water breaks before 37 weeks of pregnancy caused by natural membrane weakening or by the power of contractions.
What should you do if your water breaks early? This is a question that many pregnant women ask, and the answer can be confusing.
Premature rupture of membranes (PROM) can happen at any time during pregnancy, and it is important to know what to do if it happens. In this blog post, we will discuss the symptoms of PROM and what you should do if you experience them. We will also talk about the risks associated with PROM and how it can affect your pregnancy.
What is premature rupture of membranes?
If your water breaks before you’re 37 weeks pregnant, it’s called premature rupture of membranes (PROM).
PROM occurs in about eight percent of pregnancies. If you have PROM, your chances of delivering early are about 50 percent. While this may seem like a high number, remember that most babies born before 37 weeks do just fine. Many don’t even need to stay in the hospital after they’re born.
Causes of premature rupture of membranes
Rupture of the membranes near term (end of pregnancy) might be caused by natural membrane weakening or by the power of contractions.
Preterm premature rupture of membranes (PPROM) occurs when the rupture of membranes happens before 37 weeks of pregnancy. PPROM can also result from a cervical cerclage, which is a stitch placed in the cervix (the opening to the uterus) during pregnancy.
Causes of PROM can be either spontaneous or induced.
- Spontaneous PROM can be caused by infection, inflammation, or natural membrane rupture.
- Induced PROM is caused by medical interventions, such as membrane stripping or amniotomy.
Risk factors for PROM
Risk factors for PROM include a history of preterm labor, cervical insufficiency, multiple gestation, polyhydramnios, vaginal bleeding during pregnancy, and certain infections. Women who are pregnant with twins or higher-order multiples, as well as those carrying a fetus with certain birth defects, are also at increased risk.
PROM is a serious complication of pregnancy and can lead to preterm labor and delivery. PROM can occur without any warning signs or symptoms. However, some women may experience vaginal discharge or leaking fluid in the days leading up to PROM.
If you think your water has broken, it is important to contact your healthcare provider right away.
Symptoms of PROM
The most common symptom of PROM is a sudden gush or trickle of fluid from the vagina. This can happen when you are standing up, lying down, or even during intercourse.
Some women may also experience abdominal pain, cramping, or backache. If you think you may be experiencing PROM, it’s important to contact your healthcare provider right away.
Diagnosis of premature rupture of membranes
Your healthcare provider will ask about your symptoms and medical history to confirm your diagnosis. They will also do a physical exam. This may include a pelvic exam.
If your healthcare provider suspects that your water has broken, they will do a vaginal examination, ultrasound, and order tests. These may include a fetal fibronectin test or amniotic fluid index.
If you are pregnant and think your water has broken, call your healthcare provider right away. Do not wait to see if labor starts on its own. If your water has broken, there is a risk of infection for you and your baby.
Complications of premature rupture of membranes
It includes infection, cord prolapse, and placental abruption.
- Infection is the most common complication of PROM and can occur in the mother or the baby.
- Cord prolapse occurs when the umbilical cord falls into the birth canal before the baby and can cause oxygen deprivation and even death.
- Placental abruption is when the placenta starts to separate from the uterine wall before delivery, and can also cause oxygen deprivation and even death.
- Chorioamnionitis is an infection in the chorion and amnion, the two membranes that surround and protect the baby in the womb can also cause PROM.
While PROM can be a scary thing, it is important to remember that most cases are not serious and can be managed with close monitoring and intervention. If you are ever in doubt, always call your doctor or midwife.
Treatment for PROM
If you have PROM, your healthcare provider will likely want to monitor you and your baby closely. They may also recommend that you be hospitalized for the remainder of your pregnancy. This is because there is an increased risk of infection when your water breaks prematurely.
In some cases, your healthcare provider may recommend induction of labor. This is usually only done if you are at least 37 weeks along in your pregnancy. If you’re induced, it’s important to know that you may still need a cesarean section. This is because the cervix may not be ready to open fully, even after being induced.
Corticosteroids may be given to help mature the lungs of the fetus and tocolytics to stop preterm labor.
If you’re not induced and you’re less than 37 weeks, your healthcare provider will likely want to monitor you closely. This may mean coming into the office or hospital for regular checkups. You may also be given antibiotics to help prevent infection.
What to do if your water breaks early?
Here are some tips on what to do if your water breaks early:
- If your water breaks before 37 weeks of pregnancy, it is considered premature. You should call your doctor or midwife right away and go to the hospital.
- If you are 37 weeks or more, and your water breaks, you can either go to the hospital right away or wait at home for labor to start.
- If you choose to wait at home, be sure to stay in bed and rest as much as possible. Drink plenty of fluids and monitor your baby’s movements.
- If your water breaks and you are not in labor after 24 hours, you will need to be induced.
- If you have any concerns or questions, be sure to call your doctor or midwife. They will be able to help you make the best decision for you and your baby.
We hope this information is helpful. Remember, if your water breaks early, be sure to call your doctor or midwife right away.