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Preterm Prelabour Rupture of Membranes (pPROM)

Condition Basics

What is preterm prelabour rupture of membranes (pPROM)?

Before a baby is born, the amniotic sac breaks. Then fluid either leaks slowly or gushes out. You may hear it called "having your water break." When this happens before contractions start, it's called prelabour rupture of membranes (PROM). When PROM occurs before 37 weeks, it's called preterm prelabour rupture of membranes (pPROM).

What are the symptoms?

When your water breaks, it often feels like a large gush of water. Or it may feel like you're leaking a small amount of water. Water from the amniotic sac is usually clear or light yellow. Tell your healthcare provider or midwife about any water you're leaking. Tell them right away if you have a fever and your water is dark or greenish, bad-smelling, or bloody.

What happens when you have pPROM?

Many people with pPROM have their baby within 1 week. It may take longer. Some people carry the pregnancy to term. If you think your water has broken, or if you have a fever, it's important to call your healthcare provider or midwife right away.

Treatment for pPROM may include:

  • Antibiotics, given to treat or prevent amniotic fluid infection.
  • Antenatal corticosteroid medicines which are used to speed up fetal lung maturity at or before 34 weeks.
  • An observation period or expectant management may be offered.
  • Depending on the number of weeks completed in pregnancy, your healthcare provider may want to start (induce) labour with medicine if labour doesn’t start on its own. This is meant to speed up delivery and lower the risk of infection.


Adaptation Date: 2/13/2023

Adapted By: Alberta Health Services

Adaptation Reviewed By: Alberta Health Services

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