Amniotic fluid is the fluid that surrounds the baby inside the uterus during pregnancy and is contained within the amniotic sac or sac. It is a vital element for its development, since it protects it from injuries, heat loss and contains the essential nutrients it needs for proper growth.
The rupture of the membranes that form the amniotic bag (amniorrhexis) involves the loss of amniotic fluid that surrounds the fetus, and can occur at any time during pregnancy.
In most cases, this rupture occurs spontaneously from the 37th week of gestation, being one of the signs that delivery is approaching . However, in 10% of cases, membrane rupture occurs prematurely , predisposing to preterm delivery .
Causes of premature rupture of membranes
The causes involved in the premature rupture of the bag can be varied, and sometimes even unknown, but among the most likely are:
- infection in the uterus
- vaginal bleeding
- History of preterm labor
- sexually transmitted infections
- Very exaggerated distention of the bag (when there is an excess of liquid or in multiple pregnancies)
- External factors such as smoking
Risk of premature birth and other risks
The main risk of premature bursting of the sac is preterm delivery , hence the importance of close medical monitoring of mother and baby, to delay this event as much as possible.
But according to experts , a premature rupture of the membranes also carries other important risks:
- It increases the risk of serious infection of the tissues of the placenta (chorioamnionitis), which can be very dangerous for the mother and the baby.
- It increases the risk of placental abruption , compression of the umbilical cord, caesarean section and postpartum infection .
What is done in the event of a premature bursting of the bag?
Faced with the premature rupture of the bag, the doctors will assess the best strategy to continue depending on the specific circumstances of the patient , if there is any situation that could compromise her well-being or that of the baby, and the gestational age. Check out more interesting articles on our site Fit Blog.
In most cases, “expectant management” is usually chosen. That is, to see how events unfold, under rigorous control consisting of:
- hospital rest
- Frequent monitoring of the baby to check fetal well-being
- Antibiotics given to the mother to avoid the risk of infections.
- And in the case of pregnancies under 32 weeks, corticosteroids are also administered to accelerate the maturity of the baby’s lungs.
María José Remesal, midwife at the Virgen de Valme University Hospital in Seville, explains that when the rupture of the membranes occurs before week 36, the pregnancy could continue to evolve under close medical surveillance that includes cultures, tests and periodic records that help early detection of any problem. In this way, it would be possible to reach week 34-35, where the maturity of the baby would be evaluated and inducing labor would be considered.