Uterine rupture is a tear of the muscle of the uterus. Rupture is not common, but it is a serious childbirth complication.
Female Reproductive Organs
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Uterine rupture occurs more often in women who have had prior surgery on their uterus. This may include previous
or other procedures, such as
Factors that may your chance of developing uterine rupture include: Prior ruptureAbnormal uterine structurePrevious uterine surgery, including cesarean sectionUse of labor-inducing drugsDelivering post-termCurrently having an enlarged uterus, such as carrying more than one baby or having too much amniotic fluid
In many cases, uterine rupture does not have symptoms. When symptoms do occur, they may include: Sudden abdominal painVaginal bleedingSlowing or stopping of
Your doctor will monitor you and your baby during labor. Problems with the baby's heart rate can be a sign of uterine rupture.
there are signs or symptoms of uterine rupture, the doctor will urgently deliver the baby, usually by cesarian section.
Diagnosis is confirmed during surgery.
If your baby is experiencing fetal distress, the
doctor will urgently
initiate delivery. It will likely be done by cesarean section. If the baby is not delivered as quickly as possible, it could suffer permanent brain damage, problems due to lack of oxygen, or death.
The uterine rupture is surgically repaired after delivery.
If you have one or more risk factors for uterine rupture, develop a thorough birth and complication plan with your doctor.
In many cases, women who delivered a previous baby via cesarean section can attempt a
(VBAC). If you decide to deliver vaginally after a cesarean, your baby will need constant
. You should only deliver the baby in a facility where emergency surgery is available. Talk with your doctor about the best delivery plan for you.
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. ACOG Practice bulletin no. 115: Vaginal birth after previous cesarean delivery. Obstet Gynecol. 2010;115(2 Pt 1):450-463. Reaffirmed 2015.
Toppenberg K, Block W. Uterine rupture.
Am Fam Physician. 2002;66(5):823-829.
Trial of labor after cesarean section (TOLAC). EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:
Updated November 3, 2015. Accessed May 3, 2016.
Kaczmarczyk M, Sparén P, Terry P, Cnattingius S. Risk factors for uterine rupture and neonatal consequences of uterine rupture: a population-based study of successive pregnancies in Sweden. BJOG. 2007;114(10):1208-1214.
Last reviewed May 2016 by Andrea Chisholm, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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