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Premature Rupture Of Membranes

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

Premature rupture of membranes (PROM) is a condition where fluid leaks from your amniotic sac before labor begins. The amniotic sac contains fluid that surrounds and protects your baby in your uterus. PROM may happen just before birth. If PROM happens before 37 weeks of pregnancy, it is called preterm PROM. The cause of PROM is not known.

WHILE YOU ARE HERE:

Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.

An IV

is a small tube placed in your vein that is used to give you medicine or liquids.

You may need to wear pressure stockings.

The stockings are tight and put pressure on your legs. This improves blood flow and helps prevent clots.

Medicines:

  • Antibiotics help treat or prevent an infection caused by bacteria.
  • Oxytocin is used to start contractions and keep them strong and regular. It may be used at any time after your membranes have ruptured.
  • Tocolytics are given to stop contractions for a short time if your baby is not ready to be born.
  • Steroids are given between 24 and 34 weeks gestation to help your unborn baby's lungs develop faster.

Tests:

  • A vaginal exam may show if you are leaking amniotic fluid or if your cervix is dilated.
  • A sample of vaginal fluid may show if you are leaking amniotic fluid or if you have an infection.
  • Blood and urine tests may show infection or provide information about your and your baby's condition.
  • An ultrasound uses sound waves to show pictures on a monitor. An ultrasound may show the position of your baby and his weight. Healthcare providers may monitor your baby's heartbeat and the contractions of your uterus. An ultrasound may also show the location of the placenta and how much amniotic fluid is in your uterus.
  • An amniocentesis may show if your baby's lungs are developed enough for delivery. This test is also used to check for infection in your uterus.

Treatment

depends on your unborn baby's age, his health, and how strong his lungs are. You may need any of the following:

  • Healthcare providers will monitor you and your baby. They will watch you and your unborn baby carefully during this time to see if you start to have contractions. You may be on bed rest during this time, but you will be able to get up to use the bathroom. If you need to get out of bed, ask a healthcare provider first.
  • Delivery:
    • Vaginal delivery may be needed. You may begin to have contractions shortly after your membranes have broken, or contractions may start later. Healthcare providers may wait to see how you and your baby are doing and allow labor to continue naturally. They may give you medicine to slow down contractions, or they may need to induce (start) labor.
    • A C-section may be needed if your labor is not progressing or if your baby has problems, such as a low heart rate.

RISKS:

  • You may get an infection that may spread to your baby or to other parts of your body. The placenta may separate from the walls of your uterus and cause bleeding. This blood loss may be life-threatening for you and your unborn baby. You may need a dilation and curettage (D and C) to remove parts of the placenta from your uterine wall.
  • PROM may cause your unborn baby to press on his umbilical cord and cut off his blood supply. If your baby is born before his lungs are formed, he may have trouble breathing, pneumonia, or other lung problems. PROM may cause your baby to have other life-threatening conditions. Your baby may not be in a head-down position, which can make it harder to deliver him. You may need a C-section to deliver your baby.

CARE AGREEMENT:

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

© 2017 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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