What happens when your water breaks?


Quick Answer

When your water breaks during pregnancy, you could experience the feeling of wetness inside the vagina, a small trickle of fluid or even a gush of liquid, states Mayo Clinic. However, the chance of your water breaking before going into labor is roughly 15 percent, notes What To Expect.

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Full Answer

The phrase "water breaking" refers to the amniotic sac rupturing. This rupture releases the amniotic fluid surrounding the baby, according to Mayo Clinic. Women often question if their water has actually broken or if they urinated, since up until that point, wetness in the vagina area is usually related to urine leakage. Plus, it is common for women in the later months of pregnancy to experience urine leakage, especially when they cough, laugh or sneeze.

If your water breaks, observe the liquid and make note of any unusual color or odor. Amniotic fluid should be clear and odorless. However, if the baby has a bowel movement while in utero, the meconium, or the baby's first bowel movement, is flushed out with the amniotic fluid, notes What to Expect. This causes the fluid to be dark brown or black in color. It also has an unusual smell. If you suspect your water has broken, contact your doctor or head to the hospital.

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