Preterm Prelabor Rupture of Membranes

Preterm prelabor rupture of membranes is a premature rupture (water break) before 37 weeks of pregnancy.

Overview and Symptoms

Preterm prelabor rupture of membranes (PPROM) can cause women to go into labor, often resulting in a higher risk for infection or a premature birth of your baby.

The cause of PPROM is unknown, although risk factors include:

  • A prior pregnancy with preterm labor or preterm delivery
  • Vaginal or uterine infections
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Smoking


We admit patients with PPROM to the hospital, so we can monitor you and your baby closely. Most women with PPROM go into labor within a week of membranes rupturing.

If you are at 34 weeks or more, we will usually deliver the baby to decrease the risk of infection.

If you are before 34 weeks, we will start with a course of antibiotics and you may be given steroids that can be helpful in speeding up the development of fetal lungs, brain and digestive organs.

Maternal-Fetal Medicine

The Center for Maternal-Fetal Medicine at BIDMC provides extraordinary care for pregnancies with potential complications to mother or baby.

Learn More