Low Amniotic Fluid: Risks and Treatment


If you have been diagnosed with low amniotic fluids, it is necessary that you undergo treatment to protect your baby in your womb. Listed below are a few risks that accompany low amniotic fluids and the treatment for the condition.

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Risks and Treatment for Low Amniotic Fluid

Amniotic fluid creates the life-supporting condition for the baby when it remains in the womb. It allows it to make the necessary movements, protects the baby by forming a cushion against injuries and ensures that the umbilical cord does not become compressed. Besides, it maintains a stable temperature in the womb. Initially, it is made up of water from that body of the mother, but later foetal urine forms the fluid. At times, the amount of amniotic fluid in the womb suffers a dip. It is known as oligohydramnios and results in various complications.

When the volume of fluid comes below 500 ml, it may cause oligohydramnios. In case the vertical pocket goes below 2 cm, it may also result in low levels of amniotic fluid. When the fluid index goes below 5 cm, it may result in complications. Oligohydramnios is caused due to a variety of factors, like high pressure level, problems with the placenta, birth defects, in case the water is broken, diabetes and other reasons.

Risks associated with low levels of amniotic fluid:

Birth defects

Oligohydramnios results in compression of the foetal organs. This may result in birth defects. The amniotic fluid is responsible for allowing the baby to make certain movements. In case these movements become restricted, it may result in various complications and birth defects.



The amniotic fluid preserves the baby in the womb. It provides it with the right environment to survive. Besides, it also helps in the development of certain systems in the baby, like the digestive system. In case the child does not get the suitable conditions, it may lead to miscarriage. It may also result in complications like Intrauterine Growth Restriction (IUGR).Amniotic Fluid

Preterm birth

Often, oligohydramnios results in preterm birth of the child. In case it is detected in the second trimester, the chances of premature delivery increases. However, chances are less if it is detected in the third trimester. However, the possibilities cannot be completely ruled out here too. Preterm birth is often caused due to low levels of amniotic fluid in the womb.

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Labour complications

Oligohydramnios also results in various labour complications. These include stained meconium fluid, compression of the cord, cesarian delivery and other problems. Doctors recommend bedrest to the pregnant women suffering from oligohydramnios. They also need to drink plenty of water to overcome the situation.

Slow growth of the baby

The baby may not develop properly as a result of low levels of amniotic fluid. The fluid is responsible for the growth of certain parts of the body of the baby. When the volume of fluid deceases, it results in underdeveloped parts and organs. This increases the risks of the child after its birth.

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Treatments Available for Oligohydramnios

In case of low volumes of amniotic fluid, the woman has to take substantial amounts of fluid throughout the day. Besides, the doctors recommend early delivery to prevent miscarriage. As the volume of fluid keeps on decreasing, the living conditions become unfavourable for the baby. In case a tear develops in the sac, the fluid starts coming out slowly. It may not force its way out with a gush, but certainly, it leaks out of the sac. In these cases, it is wise to get the baby out of the womb at the earliest. This often results in premature birth, between 32 to 37 weeks of pregnancy. However, the chances of stillbirth can be greatly minimized in case the amount amniotic fluid decreases in the sac.

A commonly adopted measure to treat this condition is to inject saline into the amniotic sac. This replenishes the volume of fluid in the womb and creates a favourable environment for the child to survive. The saline water creates amniotic fluid. This is known as amnioinfusion. The umbilical cord comes under pressure when the fluid quantity drops. This process relieves the cord from pressure.

Although doctors can safely get the child out of the womb during these complications, it may result in cesarian delivery. In case you realize that you are not gaining weight at the expected rate, it might be a symptom of Oligohydramnios. It occurs in 4% of pregnant women, but the chances of miscarriage can be reduced if it is detected early.

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