What is low amniotic fluid ?


Low amniotic fluid  is also known as oligohydramnios . It is a condition during which the amniotic fluid surrounding the baby is too low. It can happen at anytime during pregnancy, but it is usually common in the third trimester.

low amniotic fluid

How did I get low amniotic fluid ?


Low amniotic fluid is caused by the following conditions.



What amniotic fluid level is considered low ?


Doctors measure the amount of amniotic fluid using a variety of methods. Amniotic fluid index (AFI) evaluation or deep pocket measurements are the commonly used methods. Low amniotic fluid or oligohydramnios is suspected if you have fluid volume of less than 500mL at 32-36 weeks gestation. The absence of a fluid pocket 2-3 cm in-depth or an AFI showing a fluid level of less than 5 centimeters are all indications of this pregnancy complication.


I have low amniotic fluid. What are my treatment options ?


This will depend on how far along you are in the pregnancy and the health of your baby.


You will be monitored with frequent ultrasounds and non-stress tests, as well as biophysical profiles and possibly doppler studies.


Your doctor may also suggest drinking enough fluids especially if you are dehydrated.


You may need amnioinfusion  during labor to relieve pressure on the umbilical cord. It is the process of reintroducing fluids into the amniotic sac . The effect of this procedure is short lived.


If complications such as preeclampsia or poor growth rate of baby set in, your doctor may recommend induction of labor. If your baby cannot tolerate labor , a c-section will be recommended.



Content Sources
Low Amniotic Fluid Levels: Oligohydramnios. American Pregnancy Association. http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancycomplications/lowamnioticfluidoligohydramnios.htm. Accessed June 11, 2014

What are the treatment options for low amniotic fluid during pregnancy? Mayo Foundation. http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/pregnancy-week-by-week/expert-answers/low-amniotic-fluid/faq-20057964. Accessed June 11, 2014

Oligohydramnios. March of Dimes. http://www.marchofdimes.com/pregnancy/oligohydramnios.aspx. Accessed June 11, 2014

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