Does oligohydramnios run in families?

Depending on its cause, oligohydramnios can run in families. The mother's level of amniotic fluid reflects both her health and the functioning of the fetal kidneys because the fetus starts recycling the amniotic fluid at around 16 weeks. Because of this, a low level of amniotic fluid may indicate a malfunction of fetal kidneys, which can be caused by either a physical deformity or an inherited genetic disorder.

For example, a genetic disorder called polycystic kidney disease can be suspected before birth if the mother experiences oligohydramnios. This disease is characterized by multiple fluid-filled cysts on the kidneys and can lead to renal failure. Polycystic kidney disease is autosomal dominant in adults, meaning any family member with a copy of the abnormal gene runs a 50 percent risk of passing the disorder to their children. Signs of polycystic kidney disease in a fetus include: low amniotic fluid levels (oligohydramnios), underdeveloped lungs or kidneys, or cysts on the kidneys which can sometimes be detected through an ultrasound.

Another inherited kidney problem, renal tubular dysgenesis, may cause oligohydramnios because a malfunction of the renal tubes prevents normal urination. It is a serious condition that frequently results in stillbirth or fatality shortly after birth.

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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.