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Pregnancy Topics..

You are here : home > Pregnancy > Complications during Pregnancy > Oligohydramnios



Lack of amniotic fluid referred to as Oligohydramnios in pregnancy can even result in death of the foetus. Have a look at the complications associated with Oligohydramnios.

Have you ever heard of Oligohydramnios in pregnancy? Wondering what it is all about and how it can affect your little one developing inside. Here we have attempted to familiarise you with Oligohydramnios, so that you are well informed.

What is Oligohydramnios?

Oligohydramnios refers to a condition where there is significantly less amniotic fluid around the foetus.  This disorder indicates some abnormality in the pregnancy. An abnormality that affects the production of urine in the foetus may be linked to the development of Oligohydramnios.

Causes of Oligohydramnios

Let us take a look at the causes of Oligohydramnios.
  • Thrombotic disorder, pre-eclempsia, hypertension can result in Oligohydramnios.
  • If you are dependent on drugs such as NSAIDs or ACE inhibitors.
  • In case of post-term pregnancy.
  • In case of malformation of the foetus and circumstances in which the urine production is affected.
  • If the foetal growth is restricted in any way.
  • In case of demise of the foetus.
  • In case of chromosomal abnormalities of the foetus.

Complications Associated with Oligohydramnios

Here are the following complications associated with Oligohydramnios. Take a look below:
  • It might result in death of the foetus.
  • It might hinder normal growth of the foetus.
  • There may be limb contractures.
  • It might take longer for the unborn child to develop its lungs. This might increase chances of a C-section.
The associated risk factors shall depend on the amount of amniotic fluid present and causes behind the complications.

If the term of the pregnancy exceeds forty-one weeks, Oligohydramnios is a risk factor and will influence the decision to induce labour.

Symptoms of Oligohydramnios

While Oligohydramnios does not cause any symptoms itself, you may notice decrease in foetal movement over the time. Size of your uterine may be less compared to the expected dates.

How is Oligohydramnios Diagnosed and Treated?

The size of the abdomen could indicate the existence of this condition. A suspiciously small abdomen could indicate Oligohydramnios. The diagnosis can be confirmed by doing an ultrasound.

Diagnosis of Oligohydramnios

Here we shall take a look at the diagnosis measures that your doctor may suggest in this case.
  • He may carry out ultrasound scans to measure volume of the amniotic content.
  • He may suggest test for the suspected causes behind this.
  • Doctor may also suggest Doppler ultra sound to take a look at the umbilical artery.
Decrease in foetal movements or reduced size of the uterine may be taken for Oligohydramnios. In case the doctor suspects Oligohydramnios, he or she shall suggest assessment of amniotic fluid with AFI.

Treatments for Oligohydramnios

Your doctor shall proceed on the following course of action:
  • He shall carry out serial ultra sound to check the AFI as well as check the growth of the foetus.
  • He may suggest testing of biophysical profile or non stress testing.
If a woman has Oligohydramnios, depending on the woman's health and pregnancy records, the doctor may recommend one or all of the following:
  • Change in the mother's diet (increase in fluids, nutritive foods, etc);
  • Complete bed rest (if intrauterine growth retardation is suspected);
  • Additional tests to determine if there are any genetic deformities.
You will be advised to go for ultrasound scans at least once in every month to monitor growth of the child. Your doctor shall measure the AFI once every week. However, these efforts may still fail to prevent growth of the foetus.

Important Points to Remember

Here are some of the key pointers that you need to keep in mind:
  1. Abnormalities of the foetus, drugs, rupture of membranes prematurely or utero placental insufficiency can result in such conditions.
  2. Oligohydramnios can result in foetal developmental issues such as limb contractures, restrict normal growth, it may make it difficult for the baby to tolerate labour and it might also delay maturation of lungs.
  3. It is important to determine the amniotic fluid index or (AFI) and look for the probable causes if Oligohydramnios has been suspected.
  4. You will be advised to go for ultra sound scans once in every 4 weeks to monitor your foetal movements.
It is important you follow the guidelines stated by your doctor. In case of any further queries and concerns, you can always get in touch with your health care provider. Make sure to stay relaxed and get enough rest. Do not stress unnecessarily and rely on your doctor for the best possible care.

What is Oligohydramnios? How is Oligohydramnios diagnosed? What are the ways to treat Oligohydramnios? Discuss here.

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maryam.10 years ago
i have a oligohydramnia ...this is my 7th week ...will my pregnacy survive
sim.10 years ago
i have a oligohydramnios....this is my 32 week..will this be a prob ..wat precautions do i need to take
avani.10 years ago
i was just diagonised with oligohydramnios i m so freaked out.. my doc says i m ok but i m really worried
priya.10 years ago
i have a oligohydramnia...this is my 16th week...will my pregnancy survive and what precaution do
Savita.10 years ago
i have oligohydramnia .this is 34 weeks. will my pregnancy servive & what precaution i do.
suja.10 years ago
thisis my 33wks jst diagnosed oligohydramnious.......wil be any problem to the baby?....
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