Risk of Miscarriage and Other Complications
PROM can lead to miscarriage, increased infection that puts both the pregnant woman and her fetus at risk, and preterm birth. Approximately 34% of premature births result because of the premature rupture of membranes during the period of between 24 to 37 weeks of pregnancy.
The rupturing of the amniotic membrane during the first 24 to 26 weeks of pregnancy are particularly dangerous for the fetus, and can lead to pulmonary problems. The fetal survival at this stage of pregnancy is less than 20%.
Other risk factors in the late stages of pregnancy include the worsening of infection, including an extensive intra-amniotic infection, which leads to uterine tenderness, as well as fever and an increased heart rate in both the pregnant woman and her fetus.
Nienty percent of pregnant women enter into spontaneous labor within 24 hours of PROM when it occurs at term, making preterm birth a major danger during pregnancy.
Most cases of PROM are treated with antibiotics; the majority of studies have found that when antibiotics are prescribed, the pregnancy is prolonged, leading to a decline in the risk of both infant and maternal death. Yet a few studies have found that antibiotics increase the risk of neonatal mortality.
When PROM occurs during late pregnancy, labor is induced in order to avoid an increased risk of infection. This is particularly true when PROM occurs or when PPROM is combined with an infection.
In the case of a PPROM without infection, tocolytics are prescribed to the pregnant woman in order to stop or prevent preterm labor. Steroids are another option in treating PROM; they help the fetus' lungs to mature early in PPROM cases when preterm birth is not stopped.
Most experts agree that pregnant women must ensure they have informed consent of the treatment process in order to weigh the risks and benefits of each process. Participating in the process with their doctor is the best way for women experiencing difficulty during their pregnancy to feel in control and can help reduce increased stress when confronting PROM.