The fetus is mostly surrounded by a yellow-coloured fluid inside the womb, popularly known as amniotic fluid. Some women can feel amniotic fluid leakage during pregnancy. Too much of that leakage is bad news and doctors should be contacted immediately. This fluid consists of hormones, nutrients, urine and immune cells produced by the fetus. The fetus will start swallowing and excite the fluid at around 20 weeks.
The main goal of this amniotic fluid is to help the fetus grow and move. It further prevents injuries and infections, supports the fetal organ development and protects the umbilical cord from getting compressed. So, too much leakage is not healthy for the unborn baby.
What is Amniotic fluid leakage?
The premature rupture of the amniotic sac membrane or water bag before the labour starts is known as PROM or premature rupture of the membrane. If that occurs before 37 weeks of pregnancy, it is known as preterm rupture. Such rupture of membrane is not that common and it is hard to find a definite cause behind it.
The normal levels to maintain:
The normal levels of the amniotic fluid might vary as per the gestational age. This fluid gets visible after 12 days of conception and will reach its maximum volume in the 36th week. It will start to decline near birth. It is time for the doctor to measure the amniotic fluid with the help of an ultrasound while your prenatal visits. On average, the amniotic fluid index remains within 5cm to 25cm.
At 12 weeks, amniotic fluid will be at 60ml. It will be at 175ml during 16 weeks of pregnancy and around 400 to 1200ml between 34 and 38 weeks. The fluid starts to decline by around 125ml per week once you enter the 38 weeks of your term. It will decrease the amount by 800ml by the 40th week.
Leakage can cause less level of amniotic fluid inside the sac, resulting in issues. So, detecting the leakage reasons from the get-go and getting medical attention ASAP is a good call to action.
Symptoms to follow:
Amniotic fluid mainly comes up in a gush when the membrane ruptures. It is when you know that the woman is going into labour. A small hole inside the sac might lead to a slow fluid leakage, which will feel like water flow coming out of your vagina.
The first-timers might find it hard to determine the problem. They can confuse the amniotic fluid with normal pee. Leaking amniotic fluid can occur at random times and feels like you are peeing on yourself. If you face a continuous trickle of water down your leg, contact our doctors immediately. Amniotic fluid is clear in colour and odourless. But, it can get concerning if the colour turns green or you spot blood with it. Some major signs to help determine the amniotic fluid are:
- Present with blood or mucus
- Clear and odourless
- Won’t stop leaking
- Soaks underwear often
Causes behind leakage:
A premature amniotic fluid leak might occur when the membrane gets weakened and uterine contractions start taking place. Some major causes behind premature rupture of the membrane are:
- Infection in the urinary tract
- Drug usage or smoking
- Alcohol consumption
- Accidental trauma
- Too much amniotic fluid inside the sac
- Too little fluid inside the sac
- Cervical surgery
- Previous preterm birth
- Sexually transmitted infections
- Multiple pregnancies and more
No matter what the cause might be, if you feel the symptoms, it is better to consult a doctor right away!
Our team to the rescue:
Our doctors might administer corticosteroids to help speed up the maturity of the fetal lung and prevent miscarriage. Sometimes, we at Mannat Fertility Clinic can prescribe antibiotics to help prevent infections and stop amniotic fluid leakage. We can further present Tocolytic medicines to prevent any preterm labour. These are a few of the many steps we take to treat premature amniotic fluid leakage.