Polyhydramnios is the excessive accumulation of amniotic fluid during pregnancy. It is considered a high-risk condition, meaning that even a single case of this condition may result in premature birth or health complications for your baby. This condition is easily overlooked during pregnancy, as many women are unaware of the symptoms or even its existence. It is relatively common for babies to be born with excess amniotic fluid. However, some babies may have a condition where the amniotic fluid recedes rather than builds up. This article discusses all you need to know about polyhydramnios, including their symptoms, causes and risks.
Symptoms of Polyhydramnios
1. Sensation of tightness in the stomach
This is perhaps the most common symptom of polyhydramnios. It is a sensation of tightness that may be felt throughout the stomach region. In a healthy woman, in the postpartum period, this feeling goes away after about a week. However, for some women who have this condition, this symptom persists. Some women describe it as butterflies in their stomachs.
Most women who have this condition have indigestion. Many women describe this as a burning sensation in the upper abdomen. The symptoms of indigestion are much like the feeling of tightness that you experience when you swallow too much air after blowing out a candle.
This may be caused by increased pressure in the abdomen, which can trigger heartburn. Heartburn is the usual sensation of acid building up in the stomach and causing a burning sensation in the chest.
4. Enlargement of the vulva
The vulva is the opening of your vagina. This condition is associated with various symptoms, including a large and swollen vulva. The outer opening of this organ is known as the introitus, which is quite swollen in the case of this condition.
5. Breathing troubles
This condition sometimes leads to breathing troubles. A baby in a polyhydramnios uterus may struggle to breathe normally, especially when there is fluid buildup in the lungs.
1. Premature birth
If you have polyhydramnios, even in its mildest form, it is considered a very high-risk condition. This condition can result in complications during childbirth and cause your baby to be born prematurely or even preterm. The baby may not be able to survive. It is also possible for the fluid buildup to cause a head tilt, resulting in complications during delivery.
Fetal monitoring is not considered necessary if the woman is otherwise asymptomatic and has no other risk factors for preterm labor. Contractions are more common in pregnant women with polyhydramnios. However, in most cases, these contractions do not lead to preterm labor and can be avoided with medication and the use of a monitor.
3. Placental abruption
Some research suggests that this condition may increase the risk of placenta abruption. In some cases, the baby will be delivered prematurely, and the mother may need a cesarean section because of a lack of oxygen to the baby due to an abnormality in the placenta.
4. Fetal distress
Your baby’s growth is affected by this condition, leading to fetal distress during delivery. Sometimes the baby does not grow enough to deliver normally.
5. Uterine rupture
Uterine rupture is a rare complication of this condition but can occur if the fluid causes pressure against the womb and weakens it, allowing it to rupture. This can lead to a puncture wound of the uterus and requires emergency surgery.
1. Congenital disability
Polyhydramnios occurs if your baby is born with some type of congenital disability. In this case, the baby’s urine output will be decreased, leading to an increase in amniotic fluid.
2. Maternal conditions
3. Mismatched blood types
Mismatched blood types are often associated with this condition. A woman who has a blood type incompatible with the baby can develop this condition.
4. Uterine size
As the uterus expands due to pregnancy, it can become too big for the baby to exit through its normal pathway in utero, causing amniotic fluid to build up around the developing baby. Doctors will sometimes trim away some of the extra amniotic fluid surrounding each baby during delivery to prevent this complication.
5. An issue with the baby’s heart rate
Suppose your baby’s heart rate is unusually low while in the womb; it may produce less urine and result in this condition. If the baby is born with a heart problem, it may still have high fluid retention.
6. Multiple pregnancies
Suppose you’ve had multiple pregnancies in the past, and your uterus has become larger to accommodate each one. In that case, it may not have time to shrink back to its normal size between pregnancies, causing a buildup of amniotic fluid.
The prevalence of polyhydramnios can vary a lot between pregnant women. A woman who never has this condition may experience one or two symptoms in the late stages of pregnancy. In contrast, another woman who has this condition every month may only experience these symptoms once or twice.