What can cause increased amniotic fluid and its consequences

The increase in the amount of aminotic fluid, also known as polyhydramnios, in most cases, is related to the baby's inability to absorb and swallow the fluid in normal amounts. However, the increase in amniotic fluid can also happen due to other problems that promote an exaggerated increase in the production of aminotic fluid.

Thus, the main causes of increased amniotic fluid include:

  • Gestational diabetes: the increase in the amount of sugar in the pregnant woman's blood causes the baby to produce more urine, increasing the amount of amniotic fluid;
  • Gastrointestinal problems in the baby: they can decrease the baby's ability to absorb amniotic fluid, and in these cases, it may be necessary to have surgery after birth to treat the problem in the baby;
  • Abnormal growth of blood vessels in the placenta: promotes an excessive production of amniotic fluid;
  • Infections in pregnant women or babies such as rubella, cytomegalovirus, toxoplasmosis or syphilis;
  • Chromosomal diseases like Down syndrome or Edwards syndrome.

Regardless of the cause, the increased amount of amniotic fluid does not mean that the baby will be born with some malformation or illness, as in most cases, the baby is born completely healthy.

Diagnosis of increased amniotic fluid

When the value of amniotic fluid is increased in the result of the ultrasound, the obstetrician usually orders other diagnostic tests, such as more detailed ultrasound, amniocentesis or glucose test to assess whether the pregnant woman or the baby has a disease that may be increasing the amount of amniotic fluid.

How is the treatment of increased amniotic fluid

Treatment for increased aminotic fluid is usually not necessary, it is only recommended to have regular consultations with the obstetrician to assess the amount of amniotic fluid. However, when the problem is caused by a disease, such as gestational diabetes, the doctor may recommend treating this problem in order to control the production of amniotic fluid. Find out how is the treatment in: Gestational diabetes.

In the most severe cases, when the increase in amniotic fluid is causing childbirth or symptoms such as difficulty in breathing and abdominal pain, the obstetrician may recommend removing a part of the fluid with a needle or using medications, such as Indomethacin, which help decrease the baby's urine production and, consequently, decrease the amount of amniotic fluid.

Consequences of increased amniotic fluid

The main consequences of pregnancy with increased amniotic fluid include:

  • Premature delivery due to premature rupture of the water bag;
  • Excessive fetal growth and development;
  • Placental detachment;
  • Cesarean section.

Generally, the earlier the increase in amniotic fluid in pregnancy and the more serious the problem, the greater the risk of developing consequences.