Polyhydramnios: An Overview

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Polyhydramnios: An Overview

Polyhydramnios: An Overview

Did you ever fall in situation during your pregnancy where:

  • Your fluid levels got too high

  • There were complications due to your fluctuating fluid levels

  • Doctors suggested preterm labor because of your fluid levels?????????

    While these are just few of the cases, complications arising due to the fluid levels can be many.
    This is Polyhydramnios, a state though not quite common but happens in rare cases where the amniotic fluid inside your womb uterus increases so much that it appears as if your delivery time is quie near but in reality, it’s a kind of mirage.

Effect of Polyhydramnios on your baby

Your baby will not be affected with the increase of amniotic fluid. In fact, this amniotic fluid protects your baby from any sort of infection or any blow or similar accidents. It forms a kind of thick protective layer for your baby and your baby also swallows this amniotic fluid inside the womb and then urinates it later. This is how the levels get balanced automatically. During the last trimester, or say, at about 40 weeks, the amniotic fluid present measures up to half litre in normal conditions.

Complications associated with Polyhydramnios

Polyhydramnios can cause problems to a pregnant woman when the level of amniotic fluid rises up to 2 litres or even 3 litres in rarest cases from its normal level. A visible difference in the growth of the stomach is there and doctors can make it out during the last trimester the reason for such bulging tummy.
In case of twins, Polyhydramnios is common.

Symptoms of Polyhydramnios

      1. Appearing of stretch marks
      2. Development of varicose veins
      3. Getting constipated
      4. Producing less urine
      5. Causing Heartburns
      6. Unable to breathe properly
      7. Swelling of legs

How is Polyhydramnios confirmed?

Although the measurement of your bulging stomach will confirm the doctors about the possibility of Polyhydramnios. A valid test for this is Ultrasound, where baby can be seen floating in the fluid and the parameters after the scan will confirm Polyhydramnios. You will be advised to take bed rest and if admitted in hospital, your fluid levels will be monitored regularly to make sure you don’t have a pre-term delivery or uncalled emergency.

How is Polyhydramnios treated?

Although Polyhydramnios gets normal sometimes on its own during the course of the pregnancy but if required, your doctor may suggest you suitable treatment. Your treatment will depend upon your complexities. There are different cases as explained below:

Did you have an internal infection?

Your doctor will check you for the possibility of toxoplasmosis or parovirus and will treat you with antibiotics.

Are you diabetic?

Diabetic women who are pregnant and have uncontrolled sugar levels will have babies urinating more and increasing the amniotic fluid inside the womb. Your doctor will try to control your blood sugar levels.

Polyhydramnios in Twins


This happened in twin pregnancy when there is a Twin-to-Twin transfusion syndrome where one of the twin will receive more blood through the placental vessels and gets surplus fluid, it will then urinate more to balance the fluid levels in its body. Some fluid form your body will be drained out.

Fetal Abnormalities

Do you have some genetic problem in your family? Your baby too may inherit the same problem, he may have some abnormality. The doctor will do amniocentesis to check for Edward or Down syndrome and there could also be the case of hydrocephalus (excess water in the brain). Other tests in Polyhydramnios will be Karyotype or Glucose challenge test.

Is there some complication with your baby?

In some cases, the fluid may block the baby’s food pipe disallowing it to swallow the amniotic fluid and your tummy will get swollen with the fluid. Your baby may have fetal anemia.

In majority of the cases, extra amniotic fluid will be drained out to avoid the risk of preterm labor so that your waters don’t break early or there’s no stillbirth emergency condition.

Share this informative article with your friends & family!

If you have any questions related to pregnancy, please feel free to Ask Your Queries here.