Uterine rupture is a potentially catastrophic event during childbirth in which the integrity of the myometrial wall is breached. In an incomplete rupture, the peritoneum is still intact, whereas with a complete rupture the contents of the uterus may spill into the peritoneal cavity or broad ligament. The reason for the high prevalence of ruptured uterus in developing countries is because more deliveries take place outside the health facilities, and mismanagement by traditional birth attendants is common. The underutilization of the scanty antenatal and family planning facilities, as a result of low literacy level, poverty, socio-cultural barriers, and changing governmental policies, making poorly supervised or unsupervised labour is the leading risk factor. In developed countries, ruptured uterus is very rare, because mismanagement of labor due to delay in getting appropriate management is uncommon. This is because of availability and utilization of the well-established antenatal care and family planning services as a result of high literacy level, improved socio-economic status, empowerment of women and desire for small family size. Rupture from a previous caesarean section scar, or uterine surgery that resulted in full thickness incisions such as myomectomy, and oxytocin stimulation were found to be the most common risk factors in developed countries.
Last date updated on September, 2014