Polyhydramnios is a rare condition in which the volume of amniotic fluid in the uterus is in excess. Amniotic fluid in the uterus protects the fetus like a cushion and helps it develop. It prevents infection during pregnancy. Such a condition is seen in about 1% of pregnancies. It is generally harmless, but under certain circumstances, it may have some critical complications. Polyhydramnios can be of two types- Chronic and acute. The opposite of this condition is known as oligohydramnios where the fluid present in the uterus is less.
Causes of increased levels of amniotic fluids
- Twin to twin transfusion (TTTS): In such cases, the woman is having identical twins and one baby gets more blood than the other.
- Maternal diabetes: If the mother has diabetes, the fluid in the uterus may build up much more than it should.
- Anemia: If the baby and the mother have a mismatched blood type, there is a chance of anemia. Anemia could lead to excess fluid in the uterus.
- Congenial Disability: If the baby has difficulty swallowing due to genetic disorders, fluid will eventually build up in the uterus.
Risks involved with the increase of amniotic fluids in the uterus
- Bleeding complications: With the excess buildup of these fluids in a woman’s uterus, there is a high risk of bleeding complications after birth.
- Premature birth of the baby: Premature labor may lead to the premature birth of the baby. Premature birth has disadvantages like a weak immune system.
- Placenta abruption: The placenta detaches itself from the uterus before the baby is born. It may have serious
- Umbilical cord: In such a scenario, the umbilical cord detaches itself from the vagina way before time.
Are there any symptoms one might experience?
The symptoms are often negligible in case the condition is not severe. Under such circumstance, no treatment may be required. Decreased urine production, abnormal weight gain, bigger belly, difficulty in breathing and swelling of the feet are some symptoms to watch out for. These symptoms indicate severity and calls for immediate attention.
The treatment for this rare condition is dependent on its severity. If the condition is not severe, no treatment may be prescribed by the doctor.
However, in critical cases, the doctor may prescribe medicines. Another way is to drain the fluid out of the uterus using a needle. This procedure is not undertaken unless absolutely necessary because it may have some serious implications.
Underlying causes need to be detected before any treatment is prescribed by the doctor. Treatment may differ, depending on the cause of the condition. The way anemia is treated will be different from the treatment of TTTS. For some women, the medicine may be an answer. For other women, a more complicated procedure may be planned.
It is important to get to the underlying cause of this condition. The treatment is planned and medications prescribed accordingly by the doctor. In spite of it being harmless, proper care must be taken during every stage of pregnancy.