Are You At Risk For PPROM?by Elizabeth MacDonald
If your water breaks too early (PPROM), you need to understand the possible interventions and outcomes.
You have probably found this article because:
- You are currently on bed rest with PPROM
- You have a PPROM baby or loss already
- You are pregnant and learning about everything
What is PPROM?
Preterm premature rupture of the membranes (PPROM) is a pregnancy complication. It is when the sac that holds the amniotic fluid 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. Labor may or may not begin on its own following PPROM. Depending on how far along you are, labor may or may not try to be stopped. If your water breaks but labor does not naturally begin, your birth team will begin a protocol to keep your baby in the womb as long as possible.
PPROM increases the risks of certain pregnancy complications, including:
- Preterm Delivery
- Placental Abruption
- Prolapsed Umbilical Cord
- Infection in the uterus or baby
Not all PPROM ends the same way.
If your water breaks before 37 weeks, it is considered PPROM. This means that a woman whose water breaks at 18 weeks is suffering the same condition as the mother experiencing it at 36 weeks. While technically true, the outcomes can be severely different. Your odds of bringing home a healthy baby depend very much on gestational age at time of rupture, the onset of labor, science, and luck. The closer to full term you can get, the healthier the outcome should be. While medicine is amazing, a baby born before or near 24-weeks gestation typically does not survive; however, miracles do happen.
Are You At Risk?While there is no known cause for PPROM, research has found that certain women are at a higher risk of experiencing the condition. Factors that may increase your chance of PPROM include:
- PPROM in earlier pregnancies
- Nutritional deficits (poor gut health)
- Infection in the amniotic sac
- Other infections in the mother such as chlamydia or bacterial vaginosis
- Preterm labor
- Bleeding during the second and third trimester
- Certain procedures used to treat abnormal conditions of the cervix
- Lung disease during pregnancy
- Connective tissue disease
- Low body mass index
- Poorly developed placenta (Breus Mole)