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Uterine Rupture

(Spontaneous Uterine Rupture; Uterine Scar Disruption)

Definition

Uterine rupture is a tear in the muscle of the uterus (womb). It is a rare problem. It 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

You may be at risk if you have:

  • Had a rupture before
  • A womb that is not typical
  • Surgery on your womb in the past, such as a c-section
  • Had drugs to start birth
  • A baby after being pregnant for 42 weeks
  • A large womb, such as from being pregnant with more than one baby

Symptoms

Many people do not have signs. Signs that may happen are:

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

Diagnosis

If your baby is having problems, the doctor will deliver the baby right away. It 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 fix your womb. It can be done after you give birth.

Prevention

If you have one or more risks, make a birth plan with your doctor.

Many women who have had a prior baby by c-section can try to have a vaginal delivery. Your baby will need fetal monitoring. You should only have your baby in a place where surgery could be done.

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 Plus website. Available at:http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114838/Trial-of-labor-after-cesarean-section-TOLAC. Updated August 20, 2019. Accessed March 25, 2019.

Uterine rupture: caring for the patient with. EBSCO Nursing Reference Center website. Available at:https://www.ebscohost.com/nursing/products/nursing-reference-center. Updated June 23, 2017. Accessed March 26, 2019.

Last reviewed March 2019 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Beverly Siegal, MD, FACOG  Last Updated: 3/26/2019