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Preterm Premature Rupture of Membranes

General Information

Premature Rupture of the Membranes (or PROM) is when the "waters" break prior to the onset of labour. When PROM occurs before term is reached (ie before 37 weeks), it is called PPROM or Preterm Premature Rupture of the Membranes.

PROM can occur at almost any time. If it occurs very early in a pregnancy, it can lead to the death of the baby as the fluid within the membranes is necessary for the development and survival of the baby. However, a small leak in the membranes may reseal, and as more fluid is constantly made, the fluid levels may increase again.

PROM can be caused by an infection, and if this is the case, the baby will often be delivered so that treatment can be started immediately. If no infection seems to be present, and the baby is not in distress, bed rest and monitoring will often commence until the baby is closer to term, or until an infection is detected. Pelvic exams are often not undertaken, to try to decrease the risk of infection.

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This information is intended as general background information only. Please check with your doctor or other health care provider for further and more specific information on how any condition affects you and/or your baby's health and before acting on any information presented here.

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