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How does polyhydramnios affect the body?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

The consequences of polyhydramnios on the body are related to the effect of the increased pressure of the excessive volume of amniotic fluid. Since the uterus is over distended there is an increased risk of premature rupture of the membranes and pre-term labor. There is also an increased risk of umbilical cord accidents and placental abruption in pregnancies with polyhydramnios. The increased pressure in the abdominal area may cause breathing difficulty and chest heaviness as well as decreased venous circulation from the lower extremities resulting in increased edema, varicose veins or blood clots.

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

Amniotic fluid surrounds the fetus in utero, providing protection and eventually nutrients. Polyhydramnios is an excess of this fluid, diagnosed when its volume is about double average (two liters instead of one). The immediate impact of the extra fluid is more pressure on the mother and on the fetus. It is this pressure which produces symptoms of polyhydramnios like breathing problems and membrane ruptures.

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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.