When a pregnant woman “breaks her water” usually it is the start of an exciting time of her pregnancy because labor has started or is about to begin. This is fine if the pregnancy is near the due date, but if the water breaks and the pregnancy is not near the due date, then there is a problem. Preterm premature rupture of membranes (PPROM) is a bad problem and is a leading factor in premature births.
- About 12% of births in the US are preterm
- Most pregnancies last about 40 weeks
- Babies born between 32 and 37 weeks are considered preterm, and babies born before 32 weeks are considered early preterm
- About 5% of births in the US are complicated by PPROM
Since the most common outcome of PPROM is delivery of the baby within 1 week of the water breaking, information about this potential complication must be available to everyone.