Polyhydramnios

The amniotic fluid protects and aids in the development of your baby. Polyhydramnios is a complication that occurs during pregnancy, in which there is an excessive amount of amniotic fluid surrounding the baby in the uterus (womb). Polyhydramnios may occur due to birth defects, maternal diabetes, blood incompatibility between you and baby, infection in the baby, twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome (inequality in the amount of blood received by identical twins) or heart rate problems in your baby.

Symptoms of severe polyhydramnios may include belly pain and breathing problems. Mild cases may sometimes not show any symptoms. Polyhydramnios may lead to complications, such as premature birth, heavy bleeding after delivery, the need for delivery through C-section, placental abruption.

The amount of fluid in your womb can be measured by ultrasound scan. The amniotic fluid index (AFI) method, measures and cumulates the level of amniotic fluid in four areas of your uterus. The maximum vertical pocket (MPV) method, measures the level of amniotic fluid in the deepest area of your uterus. An AFI score of more than 24 cm and an MPV score of more than 8 cm indicates polyhydramnios.

Treatment depends on the severity of the condition. Mild polyhydramnios rarely requires treatment. Severe cases may be treated with medications or drainage of excess amniotic fluid. In other cases, treating the underlying cause of the condition may help resolve polyhydramnios. You will be on close observation during this period and will have frequent ultrasounds and tests to monitor the level of amniotic fluid and your baby’s health.

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