What is the amniotic fluid index?

An amniotic fluid index (AFI) ultrasound is used to measure the amount of fluid surrounding your baby. Amniotic fluid protects your baby and aids in development. An AFI ultrasound is used to identify abnormal amniotic fluid levels that could lead to birth defects or pregnancy complications.
The amniotic fluid index (AFI) is a test often performed weekly toward the end of pregnancy in women with high blood pressure, diabetes or other medical problems. It estimates the amount of amniotic fluid in the fetal sac to make sure there isn't too much (a condition called polyhydramnios) or too little (a condition called oligohydramnios). Both conditions may cause problems for mom and baby and can be a sign of other problems. If your health care provider suspects an abnormal fluid level, he or she may perform an AFI. During an AFI, an ultrasound machine is used to scan the uterus and measure the amniotic fluid around the baby. 

Continue Learning about Fetal Development Basics & Pregnancy

Could my baby's brain be damaged by pollution exposure in the womb?
Mother Nature NetworkMother Nature Network
Yes, your baby’s brain could be damaged by pollution in the womb. Two new studies published recently...
More Answers
What is fetal blood sampling?
Deborah Raines, MSNDeborah Raines, MSN
Fetal blood sampling, also known as PUBS (percutaneous umbilical blood sampling), is the collection ...
More Answers
When does the sense of touch develop in a fetus?
Dr. Michael Roizen, MDDr. Michael Roizen, MD
The first sense to emerge, touch happens as early as 7 ½ weeks, when your baby can first sense touch...
More Answers
When does the fetus develop reflexes?
Dr. Michael Roizen, MDDr. Michael Roizen, MD
A fetus develops plenty of reflexes, and all of these reflexes depend on the central nervous system....
More Answers

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.