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Premature Rupture Of Membranes


What is premature rupture of membranes?

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 unborn baby in your uterus. PROM may happen just before birth. If PROM happens before 37 weeks of pregnancy, it is called preterm PROM. You may feel a gush of warm fluid or a slow trickle of fluid from your vagina.

What increases my risk for PROM?

  • Premature delivery or PROM in a previous pregnancy
  • Infection, such as a STI, pneumonia, or UTI
  • Enlarged uterus caused by more than 1 baby or extra amniotic fluid
  • Surgery on your cervix or an amniocentesis
  • Abnormally shaped uterus or a short cervix
  • Vaginal bleeding during the second or third trimester
  • Poor nutrition, alcohol, or smoking

How is PROM diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will ask you about your medical history and your current symptoms. You may need any of the following:

  • A sample of vaginal fluid may show if you are leaking amniotic fluid or if you have an infection.
  • An ultrasound uses sound waves to show pictures on a monitor. An ultrasound may show the position of your baby and his or her 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.

How is PROM treated?

The goal of treatment is to keep you and your baby as healthy as possible. You will be admitted to the hospital. You may need tests to check for certain infections that can be passed to your baby. You may be given an antibiotic. This will help fight a bacterial infection you may have. It can also help prevent an infection during delivery. Depending on how far along your pregnancy is, your healthcare provider will decide how to manage your treatment:

  • 34 weeks or more: Your baby will be delivered. You may receive medicines to prevent a strep infection. You may also need medicine to start your labor.
  • 24 weeks to the end of 33 weeks: You will be put on bedrest. Your healthcare providers will watch and wait. They will watch you and your baby closely for any signs of problems. Healthcare providers will wait for the labor process to happen naturally. You may need medicine to start labor at a later time. You may be given antibiotics, medicines to prevent a strep infection, and steroids. Steroids may help your baby's lungs to develop faster. You may also be given medicine to stop contractions if your baby's lungs are not fully developed.
  • Before 24 weeks: Your healthcare provider will discuss with you the best treatment.

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 healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. 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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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.