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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. 

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