Normally, the amniotic sac breaks only before or during birth. Premature rupture of the membranes means that the amniotic sac has broken much earlier and that there is a risk for mother and child.
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What Is Premature Rupture Of The Membranes?
Premature rupture of the membranes is a complication during pregnancy. In this case, the amniotic sac breaks much earlier than before the expected date of birth. There is now a risk that your baby can become infected. Previously protected from environmental influences by the amniotic sac, the baby can now become infected with bacterial pathogens from the vagina. There is also a risk that premature labor may occur.
Premature rupture is when the water breaks before the cervix is fully open.
Premature Rupture Of The Membranes – Is There A Risk For Me And My Child?
About one in five expectant mothers are affected by premature rupture of the membranes. However, not all of them are problematic. Most can deliver their baby normally and without any problems.
However, since there is a risk for you and your baby, it is important that you see a doctor immediately and have yourself examined.
Basically, the earlier, the more problematic.
Can I Recognize A Premature Rupture Of The Membranes?
You can! A pretty clear sign is the leakage of amniotic fluid from the vagina. Depending on the size of the baby and the position, it can come out in drops or gushes.
The difference between this and urine is that you cannot stop the leaking amniotic fluid. In addition, you can determine what exactly the fluid is by looking at PH values.
If you are on your way to the doctor, lying down is important. This avoids the risk of a prolapsed umbilical cord. In a prolapsed umbilical cord, the umbilical cord is pinched between the baby’s head and your pelvis. In this case, the baby finds itself in real danger, because the emerging lack of oxygen can potentially restrict the baby considerably.
Diagnosing premature rupture of the bladder is quite difficult if only a little amniotic fluid has come out so far. However, an ultrasound can make it clear if the amount of amniotic fluid in the amniotic sac is decreased. A PH test, as well as an examination of the vaginal secretions, may also be informative.
What Causes Premature Rupture Of The Membranes?
The most common cause of premature rupture of the membranes is a bacterial infection in the vaginal area. Also known as amniotic infection syndrome (AIS). This can involve very different pathogens.
However, it is usually streptococci or chlamydia. As a result of the infection, substances are released that can soften the amniotic sac and cause it to rupture.
Increased Pressure Inside The Amniotic Sac
Premature labor or multiple pregnancies can cause increased pressure inside the amniotic sac and thus also lead to premature rupture of the membranes. In addition, curettage or abortions greatly increase the risk of such an occurrence.
Amniocentesis involves inserting a needle into the amniotic sac as part of prenatal diagnostics. This can cause the amniotic sac to break prematurely.
Other Risk Factors
Obesity, nicotine and alcohol, and malnutrition can promote premature rupture of the membranes. Gynecological examinations, poor vaginal hygiene and also bleeding during pregnancy are also considered risk factors.
When Can I Prevent Premature Rupture Of The Membranes?
Unfortunately, this is not really in your hands. But a healthy lifestyle, balanced diet, enough exercise, and avoiding nicotine and risk reduce the risk of this complication during your pregnancy enormously.
What Happens After A Premature Rupture Of The Membranes?
In the worst case, there is a risk of premature birth or blood poisoning of the mother. If vaginal streptococcal infection is detected by your doctor, he or she may induce labor immediately.
However, if there are no infections, antibiotics and labor inhibitors will be given as a precaution to keep the baby in the womb as long as possible.
After the 34th week of gestation, however, no further action will be taken if there is no infection. Mother and child are checked regularly by a doctor and the onset of birth is awaited.
Is It Possible That I Will Not Notice A Premature Rupture Of The Membranes?
Yes, this is not at all uncommon. In fact, it is the most common cause of preterm birth. The rupture in the amniotic sac can sometimes be so small that the amniotic fluid only comes out drop by drop. This means that you may not notice anything at all.
It is even possible that the bladder rupture closes itself again if it is small. This means that amniotic fluid does not come out at all. In other cases, so little amniotic fluid comes out that it is mistaken for urine or discharge.
During an ultrasound examination, it can also happen that a loss of amniotic fluid is not noticed because new amniotic fluid has already been produced.
Therefore, the infection can also occur unnoticed because the amniotic sac is now no longer closed.
Premature Rupture Of The Membranes – What You Should Know
As soon as the water breaks, the pregnant woman is officially in the birth phase. Whether you are in labor or not is not important.
Water Breaking Before The 26th Week Of Pregnancy
At this stage of pregnancy, the prognosis for the baby is doubtful. However, as long as there are no premature contractions or infections, your doctor will simply wait with careful observation of you and your child.
Rupture Of The Membranes Between The 26th And 32nd Week Of Pregnancy
The biggest risks of premature rupture of the membranes between the 26th and 32nd week of gestation are prolapse of the umbilical cord and sudden expulsion of the baby. Your doctor will try to prevent infection as much as possible and will recommend that you stay in a clinic under observation.
Rupture Of The Membranes Between The 33rd And 35th SSW
In the last trimester, the doctor’s main goal is to delay the birth as long as possible to counteract the risk of fetal lung rupture.