smoking during pregnancyPPROM or preterm premature rupture of membranes is considered more dangerous than PROM (premature rupture of membranes). PROM occurs after the 37th week of gestation, but labor soon follows. PPROM occurs before the 37th week of gestation or during the preterm period. Researchers from Dalhousie University in Halifax recently published a study in the American Journal of Perinatology on the possible connection between maternal smoking and PPROM.

Births recorded in the McGill Obstetric and Neonatal Database were used for the study. In all, researchers accessed information on more than 17,000 births. All information on maternal smoking habits was self-reported. Women were placed in one of three categories – nonsmoker, less than 10 cigarettes per day and more than 10 cigarettes per day.

Conclusion: Smoking more than 10 cigarettes per day increases risk of PPROM, but smoking less than 10 cigarettes per day does not, according to researchers. Smoking during pregnancy is not safe in any amount and cessation methods should be discussed with the primary healthcare provider.

Source: England MC, Benjamin A, Abenhaim HA. Increased Risk of Preterm Premature Rupture of Membranes at Early Gestational Ages among Maternal Cigarette Smokers. Am J Perinatol. 2013 Jan 17.