Leaking Amniotic Fluid

Leaking Amniotic Fluid is often seen in pregnant women. This occurrence may indicate that the pregnant lady is preparing to deliver. It may also alarm about any underlying condition which may pose a as a risk to the baby. In case if leaking Amniotic fluid is seen then it should be brought to doctor’s attention. This fluid is a substance the surrounds the fetus as it grows in the womb. The fetus may move in this substance. However, it limits the wall of the uterus from holding the baby tightly. The fluid also serves as a cushion to protect the fetus from injuries. This amniotic fluid starts forming two week post fertilization. Amniotic fluid will use-up different proteins, carbohydrate, phospholipids, electrolyte and lipids etc, which are essential for developing fetus.

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Am I leaking amniotic fluid?

It may not be easy to determine whether you are leaking amniotic fluid. The fetus in the womb exerts more pressure during the final trimester this causes fluid to discharge through cervix. Sometimes pregnant females may also leak urine as additional pressure is exerted on the bladder by the uterus. One of the characteristics to determine whether leaked liquid is amniotic is that the fluid is odorless and it usually soaks the under garment considerably as it often comes in significant amount. Once it starts leaking it may continue to leak endlessly without stopping. Using sanitary napkins can help in determining whether the liquid is amniotic or something else. Urine can be easily distinguished; however, if the discharge is yellowish-brown or green then it may indicate serious issue and medical aid may be needed.

amniotic fluid

 Causes

SROM or’ Spontaneous Rupture Of Membrane’ is considered as common factor that results in amniotic fluid leak. This incidence usually takes place during the end of the pregnancy when the membrane that holds amniotic liquid becomes ruptured. This condition is commonly called as women’s “water breaking” and is common indication that a woman is about to suffer from labor pain.

If the woman has not yet entered her final trimester then the condition is called as PROM or ‘Premature Rupture Of Membrane’. Such early incidence of rupturing occurs during 37th to 38th week of pregnancy. This frequently occurs due to a tear in the amniotic fluid sac. The leak will be slow and drip down or it can also be a sudden gush of amniotic liquid which depends on the size of tear. It is essential to go for immediate medical attention to determine the cause of such tear in the sac. This may occur due to defect in the uterus shape or abnormalities of amniotic sac. However, in some cases even bacterial infection can cause such anomalies.

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Treatment for Leaking Amniotic Fluid

If the tear in the amniotic fluid sac is significant or infection in the affected region is suspected then immediate medical support may be suggested. It is determined that stress increases the risk to the fetus and sometimes infection may occur. In cases of small tear there are chances that the puncture will heal on its own. However, larger tear will need management therapy to prevent serious complications during pregnancy.

Common therapy

Doctor will start the treatment by first performing tests to determine the cause of the condition. He will initially assure that the liquid discharged is actually amniotic liquid. There are also home based tests that can help the sufferer determine whether it is amniotic liquid. If leak of amniotic liquid is confirmed then the doctor will suggest immediate medical treatment and management therapy.  If the incidence takes place during the final trimester, doctor will try to initiate labor in around 48 hours from discharge of the fluid. This will help in protecting baby from infection if there are chances.

Oligohydramnios treatment

Oligohydramnios occurs when there is not sufficient fluid covering the fetus. This may lead to abnormal fetal growth particularly affecting lung development, a condition called Pulmonary Hypoplasia. Oligohydramnios can also lead to compression of umbilical cord. It may also cause thick meconium aspiration which is said to cause difficulties associated with first bowel movement of the baby. If this condition is determined than liquid will be infused to supplement the natural amniotic liquid quantity. If necessary, early delivery may be induced to save the fetus from prenatal harm.

Hydramnios treatment

Hydramnios is also called as polyhydramios which is a condition wherein excessive amniotic fluid is seen around the baby. This can cause early leaking amniotic fluid due to stressed sac that eventually tear-away. Usually doctor discuss with the patient before determining a suitable treatment. Treatment is often suggested with consent of the patient. Such women are closely monitored through follow-ups. Usually drugs are suggested to decrease urine level of the fetus to avoid increment in amniotic fluid.  In severe cases, a therapy called Amnioreduction is done to remove excess liquid. This technique involves insertion of a needle into the amniotic fluid sac from which surplus liquid is drawn to reduce the fluid level. If necessary, early delivery of the baby may be induced to decrease risk to mother and the child.

Do not conclude anything on your own but seek doctor’s advice if any irregularity is experienced. What you would think as leaking amniotic fluid, can be urine leaking or some other substance. Hence, such incidences should be informed to your doctor and accordingly treatment should be obtained. Sometimes erratic discharge may be seen in different color such as yellowing-brown, green, etc; this can be appropriately tested by a doctor. Thus, if any such anomalies are experienced consult a doctor.

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