Preterm Premature Rupture of Membranes (PPROM)


Your baby lies in an amniotic sac of fluid sometimes referred to as 'waters'. If your waters break before labour begins it is called premature rupture of membranes (PROM). If PROM occurs before your baby has reached full term the medical term is preterm premature rupture of membranes or PPROM. This is when the membrane sac and the amniotic fluid break before the onset of labour and before 37 weeks of pregnancy.

PPROM occurs in around 2% of pregnancies but is associated with 40% of preterm deliveries.

Risk factors for PPROM include:

  • Smoking during pregnancy
  • Previous preterm birth
  • Vaginal bleeding at any time during your pregnancy


  • Slow leak or gushing of fluid from the vagina
  • Wetness in underwear

Sometimes women mistake the leaking of amniotic fluid for urine, especially when it leaks slowly. If you notice any symptoms or think your membranes may have ruptured call your primary health care provider immediately.

Risk factors of ruptured membranes include:

  • Premature birth
  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Early labour and preterm delivery
  • Compression of the umbilical called (umbilical cord prolapse)
  • Placental abruption

Confirmation Content

Disclaimer: This publication by Miracle Babies Foundation is intended solely for general education and assistance and it is it is not medical advice or a healthcare recommendation. It should not be used for the purpose of medical diagnosis or treatment for any individual condition. This publication has been developed by our Parent Advisory Team (all who are parents of premature and sick babies) and has been reviewed and approved by a Clinical Advisory Team. This publication is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Miracle Babies Foundation recommends that professional medical advice and services be sought out from a qualified healthcare provider familiar with your personal circumstances.To the extent permitted by law, Miracle Babies Foundation excludes and disclaims any liability of any kind (directly or indirectly arising) to any reader of this publication who acts or does not act in reliance wholly or partly on the content of this general publication. If you would like to provide any feedback on the information please email [email protected].