The amniotic sac is formed by tissue membranes, inside, is the amniotic fluid, an essential substance for your baby to grow and develop properly. During the approximate 40 weeks of pregnancy, this sac becomes a perfect ecosystem for the fetus to receive all the nutrients and protection it needs.
When the amniotic sac breaks, the fluid ceases to be protected and begins to expel, resulting in childbirth. The problem is, that the membranes break ahead of time, and the amniotic fluid begins to leak before the pregnancy comes to term and the baby can be born fully prepared. Depending on the week of gestation in which the expectant mother is located, premature rupture of membranes can be more or less severe.
Is the premature rupture of membranes serious?
Once the rupture of membranes occurs, it is most common for the pregnant woman to enter into labor, that is, the process of childbirth begins. If this happens too soon, the consequences can be very negative for both the future mother and the baby. Since premature birth can seriously compromise the child’s health by not yet being prepared to survive outside the maternal womb.
When rupture of the amniotic sac occurs before the 37th week, it is considered to be a preterm premature rupture of membranes. Depending on the week in which this happens, different techniques will be carried out with which you will try to maintain the amniotic sac for as long as possible. In this way, the baby can continue to grow in the womb to form and prepare as best as possible for life outside.
Causes of premature rupture of membranes
The amniotic sac may break for different reasons, although the exact cause may not be determined in each case. However, there are several risk factors to make this happen. Knowing them will help you avoid as much as possible an advance of your birth prematurely.
Here are some of the most common causes of premature rupture of membranes:
- An infection in the cervix, in the uterus itself, or in the vagina, can cause damage to the amniotic membrane
- Smoking during pregnancy. Tobacco is the cause of many complications during pregnancy, as well as being extremely dangerous for the baby’s health. If you are a smoker, avoid this harmful habit to the maximum, if you have trouble leaving it do not hesitate to ask your doctor for help.
- A multiple pregnancy. Pregnant women with more than one fetus are at increased risk of premature rupture of membranes. The movements of more than one baby cause the amniotic sac to break before the pregnancy comes to term.
- Different medical tests. If during pregnancy you have to have tests such as a cervix biopsy or surgery, your membranes may be damaged and premature rupture may occur.
- Previous cases of premature rupture of membranes. Women who have suffered this situation in previous pregnancies have a higher risk of having it again.
What to expect?
If you are pregnant and begin to lose amniotic fluid, you may have had a rupture of membranes. In this link you will find help to find out if you are going through this situation.
Do you want to know what can happen in this case?
- If the break occurs between weeks 34 and 37 of your pregnancy, childbirth will most likely be induced. This is safer for your baby than waiting longer, as it may suffer infections and other complications.
- In the event that it occurs before week 34, the consequences may be of greater severity. In this case it is most likely to try to delay the time of delivery, with different techniques that your doctor will decide if necessary.
In any case, in most pregnancies in which a rupture of membranes occurs before term, childbirth occurs normally and without any complications.