Hydramnios: Excess Amniotic Fluid

Hydramnios: Excess Amniotic Fluid

What's it like to have hydramnios?

Is it possible to identify hydramnios when you are pregnant? Are there some signs and symptoms that can be identified? Let’s understand what hydramnios is first.


What is hydramnios?

Hydramnios is a condition in which excess amniotic fluid is present in the amniotic sac that carries the baby during pregnancy. This fluid (yellowish in color) surrounds the baby throughout pregnancy. Amniotic fluid is important for adequate growth and development of the baby as it contains specific nutrients and enzymes. Generally, pregnant women have about 500 to 1000 ml of amniotic fluid. However, too much of amniotic fluid can lead to complications during pregnancy.


What causes hydramnios during pregnancy?

Hydramnios can occur due to several reasons. Either too much amniotic fluid is being produced or there is a problem in its absorption by the fetus, both of which  maintain the balance of adequate quantity needed inside the amniotic sac. One of the causes of hydramnios in the mother can be diabetes. Factors of the baby like chromosomal abnormalities, heart failure, twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome, and gastrointestinal problems can lead to accumulation of amniotic fluid.


What are the symptoms of hydramnios?


Symptoms of hydramnios include rapid growth of the uterus, uterine contractions, and a feeling of heaviness and discomfort in the abdomen. However, all affected women will experience these symptoms differently. Hydramnios is usually diagnosed on an ultrasound test by measuring the volume of the amniotic fluid.


Why is hydramnios a matter of concern?

Too much of amniotic fluid can lead to excessive enlargement of the uterus, which may lead to early or premature labor. This is known as premature rupture of membranes as the bag of waters breaks earlier than the anticipated 9 months. It may also lead to birth defects in the uterus. When the water breaks (rupture of the amniotic sac), the loss of a large amount of liquid may also cause an early rupture of the placenta or a collapse of the umbilical cord, both of which need immediate medical intervention for fear of complications.


What is the treatment for hydramnios?


Treatment for hydramnios is usually based on the general health and the severity of symptoms shown. Your healthcare provider will closely examine the level of amniotic fluid during the entire course of your pregnancy and provide medications if needed. In some cases, some amount of amniotic fluid may be removed for diagnostics. This is known as amnioreduction with amniocentesis and helps detect disorders in the baby. If there are any complications that may pose a risk to the baby or the mother, the baby may be delivered early.


Disclaimer: The information in the article is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor.

Also read: Anomaly Scan: An Effective Tool To Detect Defects In The Baby Before Birth



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