Oligohydramnios is too little fluid in the amniotic sac. The amniotic sac is the “water bag” inside the womb that cushions and protects your baby and allows normal growth and development. Normal amniotic fluid levels vary and the average volume during the pregnancy is almost one liter at 36-37 weeks. Less than 10% of pregnant women develop oligohydramnios.
Low amniotic fluid can indicate a problem in the mother or the baby. It can also cause problems that vary depending on when oligohydramnios occurs.
Problems in the first half of pregnancy:
Higher risk of miscarriage
Compression of the baby, leading to birth defects
Lack of lung development
Increased risk of infection
Problems in the second half of pregnancy:
Reduced growth in baby
Delivery before the baby is ready (called preterm birth)
A complication of a type of blood pressure medication called an ACE inhibitor
A risk factor is something that increases your chance of getting a disease or condition.
Risk factors include:
Advanced maternal age
If the amniotic sac has a tear, you may notice a gush of fluid from the vagina or that your underwear is wet all the time. Your doctor may notice that your abdomen is smaller than expected for your gestational age. However, oligohydramnios usually does not cause women to have any symptoms.
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history, and perform a physical exam. If you are not seeing a specialist in obstetrics already, you may be referred to one.
—a test that uses sound waves to examine your uterus (womb) and baby
Amniotic fluid index—shows the amount of amniotic fluid based on the ultrasound picture; less than 5 cm means you have oligohydramnios
Blood glucose—a blood test to check for diabetes
—removal of some amniotic fluid to check for birth defects or infection
Your doctor will monitor you and your baby closely to make sure the condition does not get worse and that the fetus remains healthy. You will probably have more frequent prenatal visits and regular ultrasound tests. It is very important to keep these appointments.
Treatment options include:
intake. Some studies have found that having women drink two liters of water can increase the amount of amniotic fluid.
Your doctor may add fluid to the amniotic sac once you are in labor to help cushion the umbilical cord during contractions.
If you are diagnosed with oligohydramnios, it is important to take good care of yourself. Drink plenty of fluids, rest more often, stop smoking, and eat a healthful diet. If you see any signs of early labor (such as contractions or vaginal bleeding) contact your doctor right away.
The only way to prevent oligohydramnios is to treat its causes if possible. Getting regular check-ups while you’re pregnant can help find the problem early. If you are taking medications for blood pressure, see your doctor before getting pregnant.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a