Here's Everything You Should Know About A Uterine Rupture
Uterine ruptures are a rare but valid cause of maternal deaths. This condition is responsible for 1 in 500 maternal deaths.
Millions of women all over Africa give birth to healthy babies, but not all their deliveries go smoothly. Sometimes, there are complications and one such complication is an uterine rupture. A uterine rupture is a pregnancy complication that can happen during vaginal birth. The mother's uterus tears in such a way that her baby slips into her stomach. Naturally, this can result in a lot of bleeding for the woman; her baby could also suffocate in her abdomen. This pregnancy condition is very rare, but it is extremely serious.
According to this journal, about 1 percent of women in childbirth experience uterine rupture. That's pretty rare. But of the 1 percent, uterine rupture is responsible for 10 percent of maternal deaths, and nearly 80 percent of child deaths. In Nigeria and many other developing countries, uterine rupture is a major cause of maternal death and perinatal death.
What Causes Uterine Rupture?
As the baby moves through the mother's birth canal during labour, pressure builds up. This pressure can make mummy's uterus tear. Many times, it tears along the scar of a previous Caesarean section. There are situations that increase your risk of having this pregnancy condition. We've listed some of them below:
- You have had a previous cesarean delivery, especially if you were induced into labour.
- You've undergone surgery in your uterus
- Your uterus is over-stretched possibly by too much amniotic fluid in the uterus or by multiple foetuses.
- The f0etus is in the wrong position for delivery and has to be turned.
What are the symptoms of a rupture in the uterus?
This is a list of several symptoms that are linked to ruptures in the uterine wall. They include:
- excessive vaginal bleeding
- sudden pain between contractions
- contractions that become slower or less intense
- abnormal abdominal pain or soreness
- recession of the baby’s head into the birth canal
- bulging under the pubic bone
- sudden pain at the site of a previous uterine scar
- loss of uterine muscle tone
- rapid heart rate, low blood pressure, and shock in the mother
- abnormal heart rate in the baby
- failure of labor to progress naturally
The rupture causes severe, constant pain in the abdomen and an abnormally slow heart rate in the foetus.
What are the risks of uterine rupture?
A uterine rupture is life-threatening for both the mother and the baby. In the mother, uterine rupture can cause serious bleeding, or haemorrhage. But if it happens in a hospital, it becomes easy to save the woman's life from bleeding.
Uterine ruptures are usually a much greater health concern for the baby. Once doctors diagnose a uterine rupture, they must act quickly deliver the baby. If the baby isn’t brought out within 10 to 40 minutes, it will die from a lack of oxygen.
Uterine rupture happens suddenly and can be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms are often nonspecific. If doctors suspect uterine rupture, they’ll look for signs of a baby’s distress, such as a slow heart rate. Doctors can only make an official diagnosis during surgery.
How To Treat Uterine Ruptures
If a uterine rupture causes major bleeding, your doctor may need to remove your uterus to control the bleeding. After this procedure,you can no longer become pregnant. Women with excessive bleeding receive blood transfusions.
Also, you'll need surgery to pull the baby from your body. Doctors will improve the baby’s chances of survival by administering critical care, such as oxygen.
The only way to prevent uterine rupture is to have a caesarean delivery. You cannot fully avoid it if you're having a vaginal birth, especially one after a caesarean section.
A uterine rupture shouldn’t stop you from choosing vaginal birth. However, it’s important to discuss all of your options with your doctor so that you make the best decision for you and your baby. Make sure your doctor is familiar with your medical history, and is aware of any previous births by cesarean section or surgeries on your uterus.