Definition

Uterine rupture is a tear in the muscle of the uterus (womb). It is a rare problem that can happen when giving birth.

Female Reproductive Organs

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Causes

It happens more often in women who have had prior surgery on their womb, such as a cesarean section (c-section).

Risk Factors

Things that may raise the risk of this problem are:

  • Prior rupture
  • A womb that is not typical
  • Past surgery on the womb, such as a c-section
  • Having drugs to induce birth
  • Having a baby after being pregnant for 42 weeks
  • A large womb, such as from being pregnant with more than one baby

Symptoms

Some people may not have symptoms. Those who do may have:

  • Belly pain that starts quickly
  • Bleeding from the birth canal
  • Slowing or stopping of contractions

Diagnosis

A baby who is having problems will be delivered right away. This will likely be done by c-section. If the baby is not delivered right away, it could result in lasting harm to the brain, problems due to lack of oxygen, or death.

Diagnosis is confirmed during surgery.

Treatment

Surgery will be done to repair the womb. It can be done after childbirth.

Prevention

There are no known methods to prevent this health problem. Proper prenatal care can help to find problems before they happen.

RESOURCES:

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
http://www.acog.org

American Pregnancy Association
http://americanpregnancy.org

CANADIAN RESOURCES:

Canadian Women's Health Network
http://www.cwhn.ca

The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada
https://sogc.org

REFERENCES:

Trial of labor after cesarean section (TOLAC). EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/management/trial-of-labor-after-cesarean-section-tolac. Accessed August 24, 2021.

Uterine rupture: caring for the patient with. EBSCO Nursing Reference Center website. Available at: https://www.ebscohost.com/nursing/products/nursing-reference-center. Accessed August 24, 2021.

Last reviewed July 2021 by EBSCO Medical Review BoardBeverly Siegal, MD, FACOG  Last Updated: 8/24/2021