Posts Tagged ‘PPROM’

Premature rupture of membranes – PROM

Friday, January 13th, 2012

In premature rupture of membranes (PROM), the sac inside the uterus that holds the baby breaks too soon. If PROM occurs before 37 weeks of pregnancy, it is called preterm premature rupture of membranes (PPROM). With few exceptions, once the membrane ruptures a woman usually delivers her baby within one week.

In a full-term pregnancy, membranes rupture because their strength and elastic qualities have weakened over time and the force of contractions becomes too difficult to withstand. Before term, however, membranes can rupture for some reasons we understand and for other reasons we still haven’t figured out.

Research suggests that many cases are triggered by the body’s natural response to certain infections, including those involving amniotic fluid and fetal membranes like the placenta. However, in about half of all cases of premature birth, providers are unable to uncover why a woman delivered prematurely.

Some contributing factors to PPROM are previous preterm birth, sexually transmitted infections, vaginal bleeding, and smoking cigarettes. (That’s right, smoking cigarettes has been linked to PPROM. So here is another good reason to try to quit.) Women who receive late or no prenatal care also may be at higher risk for PPROM.

Preterm PROM is not only dangerous for the baby who will be born premature, but it can also pose a serious threat to the mom because it increases her risk of infection. Chorioamnionitis is a uterine infection that can cause a high fever, pain and a rapid pulse and it is important to receive treatment to avoid this. One study suggests that this infection also may increase a preterm or full-term baby’s risk for cerebral palsy.

The most common signs of PROM are a gush of water from the vagina or steady leaking, a constant wetness in your underwear no matter how many times you change it. If you experience any symptoms, check in with your doc or midwife right away. They can analyze the fluid, check your cervix, even do an ultrasound to see if something serious is going on.

Chorioamnionitis

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

Chorioamnionitis is a bacterial infection of the amniotic fluid and membranes that surround a developing baby. This can cause potentially dangerous infection in both the mother and baby. It is important for a pregnant woman to receive treatment for this infection because it is thought to be a major cause of preterm premature rupture of the membranes (PPROM) and premature birth.

Symptoms of chorioamnionitis include a high fever, uterine pain, rapid heart rate in mother and/or baby, nasty smelling vaginal discharge or leaking amniotic fluid, and increased white blood cell count.  Since there is no simple test to confirm chorioamnionitis, it is important that a pregnant woman report any of these symptoms to her health care provider right away. Diagnosis of this infection may require amniocentesis.    If chorioamnionitis is diagnosed, antibiotics will be given to the mother, delivery may be scheduled immediately and then antibiotics will be given to both mom and baby after delivery.

Chorioamnionitis occurs in roughly 1 to 2 percent of all pregnancies.  Women who have had it in a previous pregnancy are at increased risk of having it again in a future pregnancy.

What is PROM?

Thursday, November 19th, 2009

Premature rupture of membranes (PROM) is the breaking open of the bag of waters surrounding the baby, the amniotic sac, before labor begins. If PROM occurs before 37 weeks of pregnancy, it is called preterm premature rupture of membranes (PPROM).  With few exceptions, once the membrane ruptures a woman usually delivers her baby within one week.

In a full-term pregnancy, membranes rupture because their strength has weakened over time and the force of contractions becomes too difficult to withstand.  Before term, however, membranes can rupture for some reasons we understand and for other reasons we still haven’t grasped.  Some contributing factors to PPROM are previous preterm birth, sexually transmitted infections, vaginal bleeding, and smoking cigarettes.   That’s right, smoking cigarettes has been linked to PPROM.  So here is another good reason to quit. Women in a lower socioeconomic setting may be at higher risk for PPROM if they receive late or no prenatal care.

Preterm PROM is not only dangerous for the baby who will be born premature, but it can also pose a serious threat to the mom because it increases her risk of infection.  Chorioamnionitis is a uterine infection that can cause a high fever, uterine pain and rapid pulse and it is important to receive treatment to avoid this.

The most common signs of PROM are a gush of water from the vagina or steady leaking, a constant wetness in your underwear no matter how many times you change it.  If you experience any symptoms, check in with your doc or midwife right away.  They can analyze the fluid, check your cervix, even do an ultrasound to see if something is going on.

To learn more about preterm birth, read our fact sheet.