Polyhydramnios is too much amniotic fluid. This fluid supports and protects the baby. It also important for the growth of the baby.
For most it will be harmless. In severe cases, too much fluid can lead to:
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The cause is often unknown. There is an imbalance in the process that makes and absorbs the fluid.
The risk of polyhydramnios may increase with the following conditions:
Symptoms may not occur with mild changes. When symptoms do appear, they may include:
The doctor will ask about any symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done. The doctor will ask about any symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done. An ultrasound will help to:
The doctor will use a measurement called the amniotic fluid index. It will help to determine if the fluid level is abnormal.
Treatment of the cause may relieve the problem.
The doctor will monitor the mother and baby. Regular tests will make sure the fluid level does not continue to change. They will also help to ensure the fetus’s health. Further treatment may not be needed.
Treatment options for continued polyhydramnios that is causing problems include:
Polyhydramnios cannot always be prevented. Prenatal care may help to find problems before they effect the fluid level. Make sure to get proper care before, during, and after pregnancy.
American Pregnancy Association
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
Canadian Women's Health Network
The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada
Amniotic fluid abnormalities. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T905317/Amniotic-fluid-abnormalities. Updated March 29, 2017. Accessed April 7, 2017.
Polyhydramnios. March of Dimes website. Available at: http://www.marchofdimes.org/complications/polyhydramnios.aspx. Updated June 2012. Accessed April 7, 2017.
Practice Bulletin No. 175: ultrasound in pregnancy. Obstet Gynecol. 2016;128(6):e241-e256.
Prenatal ultrasound screening. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115088/Prenatal-ultrasound-screening. Updated February 5, 2016. Accessed April 7, 2017.
Last reviewed April 2018 by Andrea Chisholm, MD Last Updated: 7/25/2018