Polyhydramnios, what is it and how it affects

Amniotic fluid is a fluid that is naturally produced in the woman’s body when pregnancy occurs. This substance is essential, since without it, pregnancy could not occur satisfactorily, and the baby could not develop normally. In some cases, the amniotic fluid may suffer some complications that may be due to both excess and deficit.

Polyhydramnios is a condition caused by excess amniotic fluid, a problem that affects a very low percentage of pregnancies (just 1%) but can occur without you barely noticing it. In most cases this is a mild problem, which even comes to regular naturally and disappear the problem on its own.

However, in some cases this problem can lead to various complications in pregnancy. Let’s see what exactly that condition consists of and how it can affect pregnancy.

What is amniotic fluid

Amniotic fluid is a fluid with a light consistency and with a slight yellowish color. This substance, is composed of different nutrients and elements that the baby needs to be able to grow and develop favorably in the maternal womb. Among others, amniotic fluid contains proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, urea or electrolytes, as well as fetal cells that allow pregnancy control tests and tests to detect possible malformations in the fetus.

For the baby’s progress, amniotic fluid is essential because it provides all those substances he needs to grow. But also, it provides an idyllic place to grow, as it keeps you warm, cushions you from bumps and allows you to grow in a fluid space where to develop correctly.

During the first few weeks, amniotic fluid is created by the mother’s body, although starting at about the 18th week it is the baby himself who creates it. This causes partly to change the composition, as the baby will begin to swallow and expel the liquid through the urine.

The amount of fluid changes throughout the pregnancy, reaching 600 or 800 ml towards the end of the gestation period. However, complications may occur that affect the amount of fluid, leading to different problems.

What is polyhydramnios

Polyhydramnios, also known as hydramnios, is a condition due to excess amniotic fluid. In many cases this is a mild problem that is naturally regulated, but it is very important to monitor this situation closely as it can be a symptom of a more serious condition. Polyhydramnios is usually associated with a problem in the fetus’s digestive tract, since excess amniotic fluid may be caused by the baby’s difficulty swallowing the right amount.

However, in many cases it is not possible to determine the cause of this problem, which may be diverse as:

  • Incompatibility of the Rh factor, a problem caused by incompatibility of mother and baby’s blood
  • Problems in the neurological development of the baby , as well as in the digestive system, in the lungs or in the brain

How polyhydramnios affects


Excess amniotic fluid can cause different complications, both during pregnancy and in childbirth itself.

  • Risk of premature birth Premature
  • rupture of membranes, amniotic sac breaks ahead of time
  • Placenta detachment, happens when the placenta detaches from the uterus prematurely. The consequences can be very serious in this case.
  • Risk of miscarriage and fetal death, in this case, occurs when the baby dies after the 20th week of gestation.
  • Poor posture of the baby at birth, that is, the baby can not be placed in the most favorable position for birth, which is with his head down. This can lead to complications in childbirth, such as having to have a cesarean section.
  • Postpart or hemorrhage. A serious problem that can put the mother’s health at risk.