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Preterm premature rupture of the membranes (PPROM) is a pregnancy complication. In this condition, the sac (amniotic membrane) surrounding your baby breaks (ruptures) before week 37 of pregnancy. Once the sac breaks, you have an increased risk for infection. You also have a higher chance of having your baby born early.
In most cases of PPROM, the cause is not known.
The following may increase your risk:
Symptoms can occur a bit differently in each pregnancy. They can include:
Call your healthcare provider right away if you have these symptoms.
The symptoms of this health problem may be similar to symptoms of other conditions. See your healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
Your healthcare provider will ask you questions about your pregnancy. He or she will also ask you about your symptoms.
Then your healthcare provider will give you an exam. The exam may be done with an instrument (speculum) to look inside your vagina. Your healthcare provider will look for fluid leaking from your cervix. He or she will also remove some fluid to test it. This is to check if it’s amniotic fluid, vaginal fluid, or urine. Testing may include:
You may also have an ultrasound exam. This is done to check the amount of amniotic fluid around your baby.
Treatment will depend on your symptoms, pregnancy, and general health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is.
Your healthcare provider will watch you closely. He or she may monitor:
You may need the following medicines:
Your healthcare provider may give you medicine to start labor. Or he or she may tell you to stop taking tocolytic medicine. Your labor likely won’t be induced until at least week 34 of pregnancy. But it may need to be done earlier if there are problems.
PPROM happens in many premature births. A baby born too early may have many serious problems. Other complications of PPROM include:
The cause of PPROM is often unknown. There is no way to stop this from happening in most pregnancies.
You should take good care of yourself during pregnancy. This means that you should see your healthcare provider as soon as you know you’re pregnant. Keep up with your prenatal checkups. If you smoke, ask your healthcare provider how to quit.
Call your healthcare provider right away if you have signs of PPROM. These include a sudden gush of fluid from your vagina, leaking of fluid, or a feeling of wetness in your vagina or underwear.
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your healthcare provider:
Bayhealth is Southern Delaware’s healthcare leader with hospitals in Dover and in Milford. Bayhealth provides a wide range of medical services, including cardiovascular, cancer, orthopaedics and rehabilitation, pediatrics, respiratory care, sleep care, surgical weight loss and women’s services.