Preterm premature rupture of membranes (PPROM) is when the amniotic sac breaks before 37 weeks of gestation. The sac contains amniotic fluid and the developing baby. In PPROM, the amniotic fluid inside the sac leaks or gushes out of the vagina. This is also known as your water breaking.

Fetus with Amniotic Sac
BL00030_96472_1
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

PPROM increases the risks of certain pregnancy complications, including:

Call your doctor right away if you suspect that your water has broken.

The causes of PPROM are not clearly understood. Some of the possible causes are:

  • Early dilation of the cervix (may be due to the weight of baby and placenta, or changes in the cervix itself)
  • Infections of the vagina, uterus, or membranes surrounding the fetus
  • Premature labor (occurring previously in the same pregnancy)