The outcome of 71 singleton pregnancies where premature rupture of the membranes (PROM) occurred at gestations of less than 26 weeks was assessed retrospectively. The incidence of chorioamnionitis was 39.4% and the overall maternal morbidity rate was 53% but there were no long-term maternal sequelae. The latent period from PROM until delivery ranged from less than 12 hours to 77 days, with 41% of women delivering within 1 week. There was no increased risk of infection with increasing latent period. The perinatal mortality was 66.2% (26.7% stillbirths and 39.4% neonatal deaths). There was a 65% chance of a live baby if PROM occurred between 24-26 weeks but only 5 of 40 fetuses (12.5%) survived if PROM occurred before 24 weeks. The use of antibiotics, tocolytics and steroids in an uncontrolled manner is reported. Overall there is little serious risk to the mother if a conservative approach is adopted but only about one-third of such women will take home a live baby.