When the level of amniotic fluid surrounding the fetus increases, the woman is termed to have polyhydramnios. In order to know how cases of polyhydramnios are diagnosed, take a read . . .
The amniotic fluid plays an important role in nurturing the fetus growth and development through the months. Amniotic fluid develops twelve weeks after a woman has conceived and its quantity continues to increase until about 34 weeks after which the quantity begins to decrease. It serves to be a shield for the baby.
The function that amniotic fluid commits to serve is that of providing the baby with fluids with which the lungs and the digestive system is strengthened, also aiding a healthy development of bones. It is through the amniotic fluid that the baby has mobility. Polyhydramnios is a condition that results from an excess of amniotic fluid.
Symptoms and Causes of Polyhydramnios
Hydramnios, another term used for polyhydramnios, may lead to premature birth and may also affect the mother by causing symptoms such as the feeling of not being able to breathe comfortably, and the abdominal wall may endure swelling as well. These are, however, symptoms that occur when the condition is severe. Border-line cases may not have all of these symptoms bothering the mother. With medical advancements, the exact cause of polyhydramnios is not known, however, here are some of the causes that are considered triggers for the condition.
- A defect called anencephaly that does not allow the baby to swallow the amniotic fluid.
- When there is a discrepancy to swallow the fluid, it keeps increasing with the fluid excretion (urine) of the baby.
- Being diabetic in nature can also cause hydramnios.
- Fetus encountering an infection.
- Incompatibilities of blood concerning the mother and the baby.
- Blood complications where, in the case of identical twins, one baby receives blood in excess and the other is subjected to a deficiency in blood. This may in turn cause one fetus to be anemic.
How to Diagnose Hydramnios
When you visit your health care professional, he will check the uterus and its size. If the uterine size is larger than expected at the particular stage of pregnancy, further tests are conducted to confirm the suspected diagnosis.
It is a test conducted where a tissue culture is evicted from the uterus. This culture consists of fetal cells in conjunction with other chemicals that are produced by the fetus.
If polyhydramnios is diagnosed, the health care provider may call you for an ultra sound. During the conduction of ultrasound, the expert would comprehend the condition through an amniotic fluid test consisting of amniotic fluid index. The amniotic fluid index should ideally be 2 to 7.9 inches. If the fluid has increased more than the aforementioned appropriate level at the current pregnancy stage, it may be confirmed case of polyhydramnios.
This, in the actual is a clinical examination that detects the sound of heartbeats of the fetus. If the heartbeats of the fetus are faint, polyhydramnios can be diagnosed.
Glucose Challenge Test
This is a procedure conducted to diagnose if the mother has diabetes. This is condition is referred to as gestational diabetes as it occurs during pregnancy. You will be asked to consume a glucose syrup in liquid form and after a stipulated time has lapsed, your blood sugar levels will be tested. If the levels are not in accordance with the normal levels, you will be prescribed other tests to confirm the diagnosis further.
The treatment avenues include treating the mother for abnormal blood sugar levels, removing some of the amniotic fluid or using medication to reduce the levels of amniotic fluid. If the polyhydramnios is not detected and successfully treated, it can lead to complications such as:
- Bleeding endured by the mother after delivery
- Pre-term labor
- Disruption in the position of the fetus
- A Placental discrepancy where the layer of placenta slides away before the stipulated time
Diagnosis of polyhydramnios is helpful as the condition has all the probabilities of getting better, if you follow the instructions forwarded by the practitioner.