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Rupture of the Membranes

The rupture of the membranes is the breaking of the membranes containing the foetus and amniotic fluid, usually followed by the first stage of birth: labour . This process is also referred to as the water breaking or breaking of the water.

Premature rupture of the membranes (PROM) refers to leakage of amniotic fluid in the absence of labor irrespective of gestational age. PROM before 37 weeks gestation is referred to as preterm premature rupture of membranes (PPROM ). Overall, about 10% of all gestations are complicated by PROM. At term, the incidence of PROM varies from 6 to 19%. Nearly all women with PPROM will eventually deliver before term, and the majority of these women will deliver within one week of rupture regardless of their gestational age at the time of membrane rupture.

Risk factors for PROM include:

The consequences of PROM for the neonate fall into three major overlapping categories.

  1. Significant neonatal morbidity and mortality associated with prematurity
  2. Complications during labor and delivery that increase the risk for neonatal resuscitation
  3. Infection

In 50% of cases, bed rest and fluids given intravenously are enough to delay delivery. The other 50%, however, may need a drug that inhibits contractions of the uterus.

For further, more detailed information on this topic, please refer to the reference source for this page.

The information in this page is presented in summarised form and has been taken from the following source(s) :
1. Hygeia Foundation :

Other HON resources 
   From MedHunt

Rupture Membranes
Breaking of waters
    From HONselect
     (def;articles & more)   

Fetal Membranes, Premature Rupture

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Fetal Membranes, Premature Rupture


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Contact Last modified: Jun 25 2002