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Amniotic Fluid - Know Why It Decreases!

Reviewed by
Garbhagudi Ivf Centre 88% (83 ratings)
Fellowship in Reproductive Medicine & ART
IVF Specialist, Bangalore  •  5 years experience
Amniotic Fluid - Know Why It Decreases!

Are you aware of the condition known as oligohydramnios during pregnancy, in which there is too less amniotic fluid? The amniotic fluid is an important part of your baby’s support system. It helps in protecting your baby and in the development of lungs, muscles, limbs, and the digestive system. The amount of this fluid can be measured via several methods. amniotic fluid index (AFI) evaluation is commonly used for measurement. When the results show a fluid level less than five centimeters, you need to diagnose yourself for oligohydramnios.

Causes
There are several causes, which may lead to low amniotic fluid levels in your body. They are as follows:

  1. Birth defectsIssues in proper development of the urinary tract or the kidneys lead to decreased urine production, which in turn results in decreased amniotic fluid levels.
  2. Placental problems: When your placenta does not provide sufficient supply of blood and nutrients to the baby, it may not recycle the fluid anymore.
  3. Leaking of membranes: A tear in the membrane may cause a slow trickling of fluid, or a rapid gush of fluid. The premature rupture of membranes (PROM) also leads to low levels of amniotic fluid.
  4. Post date pregnancy: Low amniotic fluid levels may occur during a post date pregnancy. It is a form of pregnancy that lasts for 42 weeks.
  5. Maternal complications: Several factors like hypertension, maternal dehydration, diabetes, and chronic hypoxia may lead to decreased levels of amniotic fluid levels during pregnancy.

Treatment
The treatment for low amniotic fluid level depends on your gestational age. In case you are not full term, you will be closely monitored and your fluid levels will be observed. Non-stress and contraction stress tests may be conducted for monitoring the activities of your baby. If you are almost near full term, delivery is recommended by most health practitioners, in case of low amniotic fluid levels.

Other treatment methods that are used include the following:

  1. Amino infusion during labor via an intrauterine catheter is carried out. The added fluids help with the umbilical cord padding during delivery. It also helps in lowering the chances of a Cesarean delivery.
  2. The injection of amniotic fluid before delivery via amniocentesis is also undertaken. It is likely for the oligohydramnios to reoccur within one week after this treatment procedure, but it helps doctors to visualize your fetal anatomy and diagnose the condition.

Maternal rehydration using oral fluids and IV fluids also helps in increasing the amniotic fluid levels. It is important for you to consult a doctor for proper diagnosis so that the most ideal treatment can be prescribed to you.

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