What is low amniotic fluid?
Low amniotic fluid means that there is too little fluid around your baby in the uterus during pregnancy.
Having a low amount of this fluid can affect how the baby grows. It may lead to problems during labor and delivery.
Amniotic fluid protects your baby from being bumped or hurt as you move your body. And it keeps your baby at a healthy temperature. The fluid helps your baby move around in the uterus.
What causes low amniotic fluid?
In many cases, the cause of low amniotic fluid may not be found.
But causes may include:
- A health problem you have, such as high blood pressure.
- A problem with the placenta. This is a large organ that grows in your uterus during pregnancy. It supplies your baby with nutrients and oxygen through the umbilical cord.
- Some medicines.
- A problem with the baby's kidneys or urinary tract.
What are the symptoms of low amniotic fluid?
Some of the symptoms may include:
- Fluid leaking from your vagina.
- Your uterus not growing as expected. This means that the size of your pregnant belly is not as large as it should be, as measured from top to bottom by your doctor.
- Your baby's movements slowing down.
How is low amniotic fluid diagnosed?
Doctors use ultrasound to measure the amount of amniotic fluid in your uterus.
How is low amniotic fluid treated?
If you're near the end of your pregnancy, you may not need treatment. Depending on what's causing the problem and how close you are to delivery, your doctor may want to try to start (induce) labor.
You may also be asked to drink more water. Or you may be given fluids through an intravenous (I.V.) needle into a vein. Your doctor may want to see you more often.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Where can you learn more?
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter A006 in the search box to learn more about "Learning About Low Amniotic Fluid".
Current as of: November 9, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine