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Getting to Know Abnormal amniotic fluid Conditions

Amniotic fluid allows the fetus to float in the amniotic sac during the uterus so the fetus can move. This clear yellowish liquid also provides space for fetal growth and development. During pregnancy checkup, the volume of amniotic fluid is routinely checked to find out if it is still normal, too much or too little. This is because the amount of water reflects the fetal health condition. The examination is carried out using ultrasonography (USG). Amniotic fluid is used as a cushion that protects the fetus from external injury or sudden movements. Amnion is also useful to keep the temperature around the fetus to stay warm and stable. Another function is to help the fetus's bones, muscles, digestive system, and lungs to grow properly.

When the pregnancy is 8.5 months old, the amniotic volume is usually in the range of 800 milliliters (mL). At 10 months of gestation, the amniotic volume is around 600 mL. Here are some conditions of amniotic fluid.

Getting to Know Abnormal amniotic fluid Conditions

Too much amniotic fluid

Medically, this condition is called polyhydramnios. The cause is not known with certainty, but the following risk factors are related to the occurrence of polyhydramnios.

  • Pregnant women have diabetes.
  • Pregnant women have rhesus blood disease (rhesus incompatibility). This can sometimes make the fetus suffer from anemia.
  • Contains twins.
  • The occurrence of abnormal blood vessel growth in the placenta.
  • There is an obstacle in the fetal intestine (gut atresia) so that it cannot absorb enough amniotic fluid.
  • Genetic problems in the fetus.

Basically, polyhydramnios is a form of complications that are commonly experienced by pregnant women. Most pregnant women with polyhydramnios can give birth to healthy babies, but it is advisable to still not ignore this condition. Polyhydramnios slightly increases the risk of the fetus being born prematurely or is in the wrong position. Pregnant women also become at risk for bleeding after childbirth.

We recommend that you do regular ultrasound examinations and blood sugar tests. Polyhydramnios is usually detected during the antenatal examination after 7.5 months of pregnancy. In rare cases, polyhydramnios can occur at 4.5-5.5 months of gestation. If your stomach feels enlarged quickly, immediately see a doctor.

Too little amniotic fluid

This condition is more prone to occur in the early stages of pregnancy which indicates fetal growth is too slow. But if it occurs at the end of pregnancy, it means that there is a possibility of placental failure. Too little amniotic fluid or oligohydramnios can occur due to the following factors.

  • Pregnant women have chronic high blood pressure.
  • Take certain drugs, such as angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE).
  • The placenta detaches from the uterine wall.
  • The membranes rupture.
  • Fetal problems, such as genetic abnormalities, inhibited fetal growth, or kidney or urinary tract problems.

The oligohydramnios condition can be determined by examining the volume of amniotic fluid using ultrasound. If you are diagnosed with oligohydramnios, you may need to drink more water, especially if you are dehydrated. In addition, injection of amniotic fluid or amnioinfusion may be needed. The saline liquid will be injected into the amniotic sac wall. This is done during prenatal care. But in some cases, pregnant women with oligohydramnios may need to give birth. In this situation, amnioinfusion will be placed in the cervix or in the cervix through a catheter.

Early broken membranes

In some pregnant women, membranes can rupture before the age of 37 weeks. The earlier this happens, the more serious is the condition of the mother and fetus. This condition is called premature rupture of membranes. The cause is often unknown, but some of the following risk factors may trigger the condition of a baby born prematurely.

  • Pregnant women have a habit of smoking.
  • Having an infection in the vagina, uterus, or cervix.
  • Pregnant women have had surgery or cervical biopsy.
  • Have experienced this condition in a previous pregnancy.

If you feel water flowing from the vagina, either slowly or gently, take a cloth to absorb the liquid. Kiss the aroma, the amniotic fluid does not smell of urine. If after kissing it is not urine, seek medical attention immediately. If premature rupture of membranes at the age of 37 weeks, you can do the labor. If it occurs between 34 to 37 weeks, your doctor will likely induce you to give birth.

However, if the membranes rupture before 34 weeks of gestation, the doctor is likely to hold back to prevent labor. You will usually be instructed for complete rest. Maybe the doctor will also give antibiotics to prevent infection or steroid drugs so that the baby's lungs can grow better. After the baby's lung condition is detected better, labor can be done.

Colorless amniotic fluid is not normal

If it is nearing the date of delivery, the membranes can rupture by itself or spontaneously. The amniotic fluid that comes out normally is cloudy white to yellowish. Tell your doctor or nurse if the amniotic fluid that comes out is greenish, smells bad, or mixes with a lot of blood. Greenish amniotic fluid may be caused by a baby defecating for the first time. Meanwhile, foul-smelling amniotic fluid indicates that the uterus (uterus) has an infection. A little blood in the amniotic fluid is still normal, but if all the mixed amniotic fluid can indicate a placental disorder. Get to know the signs of abnormal amniotic fluid so that pregnant women can get help immediately to prevent further complications.
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