Knowing Oligohydramnios, One of the Causes of Premature Delivery

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Knowing Oligohydramnios, One of the Causes of Premature Delivery
Knowing Oligohydramnios, One of the Causes of Premature Delivery

Oligohydramnios or also known as oligohydramnios is a pregnancy problem characterized by too little amniotic fluid. If not treated immediately, this condition can increase the risk of pregnancy disorders, such as premature labor

Amniotic fluid is the fluid in the uterus during pregnancy. This liquid is clear yellowish in color and odorless, and consists of various nutrients, hormones, and cells that function to support fetal development.

Getting to Know Oligohydramnios, One of the Causes of Premature Delivery - Alodokter

In addition to playing an important role in fetal growth and development, amniotic fluid also has many other functions, including:

  • Protect the fetus from shock or physical injury and infection
  • Keeps the temperature inside the uterus warm
  • Prevents pressure on the umbilical cord from interfering with the baby's oxygen supply
  • Help the formation and maturation of fetal organs
  • Gives space for the fetus to move to support the development of its bones and muscles.

However, this function can be obtained if the amount of amniotic fluid in the womb of pregnant women is not too much or too little. If the volume of amniotic fluid is less than the normal amount, a pregnant woman can be said to be suffering from oligohydramnios. This condition is at risk of causing various problems for the he alth of the fetus.

The process of the formation of the sac and amniotic fluid

The amniotic sac is formed 12 days after fertilization occurs, which is accompanied by amniotic fluid in it. In the second trimester of pregnancy, the baby begins to breathe, swallow amniotic fluid, and excrete it as urine. This is so that the amount of amniotic fluid is maintained and stable.

Availability of amniotic fluid in normal levels, it is important to keep the fetus he althy and to support fetal growth and development.

At 34–36 weeks of gestation, an average pregnant woman will have about 1 liter of amniotic fluid in her womb. After that, this fluid will slowly decrease as the time of delivery approaches.

To monitor the amount of amniotic fluid and the condition of the fetus, pregnant women can carry out routine obstetrical examinations to the doctor.

About Oligohydramnios and its Causes

Oligohydramnios is a condition when the volume or water content of the amniotic fluid is too little. This condition is often asymptomatic, so it requires a supporting examination in the form of ultrasound by a doctor to determine the level of amniotic fluid.

When undergoing an examination, a pregnant woman can be said to be suffering from oligohydramnios if she has the following conditions:

  • The amniotic fluid index shows a fluid level of less than 5 cm at the end of the second trimester.
  • The amount of amniotic fluid is less than 500 ml when the gestational age has reached 32–36 weeks.

On the other hand, if the amniotic fluid in the body of a pregnant woman is excessive, this condition is called polyhydramnios. This condition can also increase the risk of complications in pregnancy.

Oligohydramnios can be caused by several things, including:

  • placental disorders
  • Defects in the fetus, such as genetic disorders and IUGR
  • Amniotic sac leak, for example due to premature rupture of membranes
  • Delivery later than expected date
  • Certain diseases, such as diabetes and hypertension
  • Dehydration

Oligohydramnios can occur at any time, but this condition is more common in the third trimester of pregnancy. In addition, pregnant women carrying twins are also more at risk of experiencing oligohydramnios.

Pregnant women who have oligohydramnios are at high risk of miscarriage due to congenital defects in the fetus. However, if the condition is diagnosed towards the end of the pregnancy, the more common risk is premature birth.

Sometimes, doctors will recommend pregnant women with oligohydramnios to give birth by caesarean section.

Some Steps for Handling Oligohydramnios

Treatment of oligohydramnios depends on the condition of the baby, gestational age, and the presence or absence of complications during pregnancy. To treat oligohydramnios, doctors can perform the following treatments:

1. Periodic monitoring

In order to be monitored more closely, doctors will usually advise pregnant women who suffer from oligohydramnios to undergo obstetrical examinations and ultrasounds more often than usual.

2. Drink more water

Pregnant women with oligohydramnios will usually be advised to drink more water so that the amount of amniotic fluid can increase. If a pregnant woman has difficulty eating and drinking or is at risk of becoming dehydrated, her doctor may prescribe fluid therapy through an IV.

3. Labor induction

Induction of labor or stimulating labor is usually done when the gestational age is approaching the expected time of delivery of the baby.

Sometimes, doctors will also induce labor for pregnant women with oligohydramnios who have certain conditions, such as preeclampsia, or if the growth of the fetus in the womb is stunted.

4. Induction of amniotic fluid

This method is done by draining artificial amniotic fluid through a catheter or a special tube that is inserted into the uterus. This treatment step can be done if the amniotic fluid does not increase or the fetus is at risk of experiencing umbilical cord entanglement.

5. Caesarean section

If normal delivery is not possible or fetal distress occurs, the obstetrician may perform a cesarean section to deliver the fetus.

With regular gynecological examinations, the condition of oligohydramnios can be detected early, so that treatment can be carried out immediately by an obstetrician.

In some cases, pregnant women who suffer from oligohydramnios can give birth to he althy babies. However, the risk of the fetus experiencing he alth problems will remain high if this condition is not treated early.

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