Learn to identify the loss of amniotic fluid during pregnancy and know when to seek medical help. Amniotic fluid is extremely important because it protects the baby from sudden movements and injuries, maintains the ideal temperature inside the uterus, prevents compression of the umbilical cord, helps the child to mature in the child’s digestive system and allows the child to move better.
In a healthy pregnancy, the amount of amniotic fluid gradually increases with the passage of months, reaching the limit of one liter.
The loss occurs in the third trimester, most of the time at a single time, with the rupture of the pouch and already announcing the close of delivery, but there are cases in which the fluid escapes gradually, which can happen by several factors and must have special attention.
What is amniotic fluid?
Produced initially in the placenta, the amniotic fluid is left in the amniotic sac. It is it that will promote the proper development of all structures of the baby, among other functions.
How do I know if I am losing amniotic fluid?
Fluid or urine leakage? Do not confuse!
Many women confuse amniotic fluid with urine; however, while it is yellow and smells characteristic, the amniotic fluid is colorless and smells like sanitary water (some women do not notice a smell).
This confusion is usual because as the bladder is pressed by the enlargement of the uterus, it is not always possible to control the output of the pee and sometimes there are some involuntary leaks. To find out if the amniotic fluid is leaking, doctors recommend attaching an absorbent to the panties and checking the smell and color of the leaking liquid.
Causes of fluid loss
The loss of amniotic fluid can have several causes, the most common occurring at the end of the third trimester to indicate that the baby’s birth moment is approaching.
However, there are other causes for the loss of amniotic fluid as some fissure in the pouch, through which the liquid can leak.
Symptoms: How to identify fluid loss?
One way of looking at yourself is to lie on your side and cough, if any liquid leaks out and you can not control the way out, you should see a gynecologist.
As this is an involuntary event, use an absorbent to analyze the type of liquid you are missing.
Significant features of amniotic fluid
It is common to ask the obstetrician a thousand times how you will be able to identify amniotic fluid when you see it.
The point is that the most striking features are as follows:
- Clear and practically odorless color;
- It may present in small amounts (as drops) or large quantities (the forming puddle on the floor)
- Your exit is involuntary. So if you can not predict when the fluid will go out and can not hold (as we do with the bladder), it is probably amniotic fluid.
Amniotic fluid or discharge?
During pregnancy, there is an increase in vaginal secretion, which remains throughout gestation. If it is just the secretion, it will have no smell, will not cause itching and no other discomfort. However, some secretions have other characteristics, such as candidiasis, which causes the discharge of a white liquid and generates itching, and trichomoniasis, which is associated with the discharge of a yellowish or greenish secretion and smelly. In these cases, it is also important to talk to the gynecologist because the discharge can trigger some infection and affect the mother, the baby or both.
Loss of fluid in early pregnancy
Ultrasound, the doctor can calculate the amniotic fluid index (ILA) present in the uterus. If less than the recommended amount is checked, the pregnancy will be monitored more closely and, depending on the stage of pregnancy, the anticipation of delivery may be studied.
However, if fluid leakage occurs early in pregnancy, you should go to the hospital and perform some tests to check for a cracked pouch, which may be the reason for the leak and can allow infections to reach the baby.
If no rupture is discovered, the woman should rest completely and drink plenty of fluids to replenish the amount lost, as well as perform an ultrasound at shorter intervals to monitor the development of the baby and the production of the amniotic fluid.
Leaking Amniotic Fluid 37 Weeks
Pregnancy is considered terminated when the 37 weeks arrive, from where the baby is no longer considered premature. If the fluid is lost gradually, ultrasound will be performed to check the baby’s health and if the amount of fluid remains satisfactory so that the baby remains comfortable and healthy until the date of delivery.
If the amount is less than recommended, a cesarean section is likely to prevent the baby from being affected. In case the rupture is abrupt, the fluid will leave at once, without the pregnant woman being able to control.
It is the rupture of the pouch and means that delivery should take place within 48 hours.
Leaking Amniotic Fluid 39 Weeks
At 39 weeks, loss of amniotic fluid in large quantities may indicate rupture of the pouch. After this event, delivery should occur within 48 hours as the baby is now deprived of the protection provided by the liquid and the risk of infections in the mother and baby increase.
If the pregnant woman feels uncomfortable, is afraid that something is not correct or has doubts, it is always essential to consult the gynecologist, as he can analyze the case in particular and do tests so that the mother and baby remain healthy and gestation occurs as quietly as possible!
Does this liquid smell like ammonia?
Although many sources claim that the amniotic fluid has no odor at all, many women claim that it does have a scent of ammonia or bleach.
How does the amniotic fluid look?
Amniotic fluid is a clear or virtually colorless liquid and has a slightly weaker odor than bleach.