Rupturing the amniotic membranes through the cervix has been documented as a method of labour induction for over 200 years. A rise in prostaglandin metabolites with a relationship to the induction-delivery interval following artificial rupture of membranes has been demonstrated. This method has the advantage that the use of exogenous uterine stimulants, with the risk of uterine hyperstimulation, is avoided, and the amniotic fluid may be observed. However, the procedure may be uncomfortable and it gives rise to the possibility of ascending infection. Prolonged rupture of the membranes may increase the risk of fetal infections including HIV, and the procedure itself might place the fetus at increased risk of HIV if the skin of the presenting part is scratched. With an unfavourable cervix, amniotomy is often not technically possible.
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The first trimester is very important for the mother and the baby. For most women it is common to find out about their pregnancy after they have missed their menstrual cycle. Since, not all women note their menstrual cycle and dates of intercourse, it may cause slight confusion about the exact date of conception. That is why most women find out that they are pregnant only after one month of pregnancy.