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Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jul 7, 2024.

What is oligohydramnios?

Oligohydramnios is a condition that causes you to have too little amniotic fluid during pregnancy. This fluid surrounds your unborn baby in the womb. Oligohydramnios can happen at any time during the pregnancy. It is most common in the third trimester.

Why is amniotic fluid important during pregnancy?

Amniotic fluid helps your baby grow and develop normally. The fluid does the following during pregnancy:

What causes oligohydramnios?

Amniotic fluid starts to develop in the womb soon after conception. The fluid contains mainly urine from the unborn baby by the end of the pregnancy. The baby normally swallows amniotic fluid and then urinates. This keeps the fluid level steady throughout pregnancy. The following can cause oligohydramnios:

What are the signs and symptoms of oligohydramnios?

How is oligohydramnios diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will examine you and ask about your symptoms. Tell him or her if your baby is moving less than usual, or if any fluid leaked from your vagina. Tell him or her about all medicines you are taking. You may need any of the following:

How is oligohydramnios treated?

What are the risks of oligohydramnios?

Your baby's lungs may not develop correctly. He or she may be born smaller than expected. The umbilical cord may be pinched. This may prevent oxygen from getting to his or her brain and can cause brain damage. Your baby may breathe in meconium (his or her first bowel movement) during delivery. This can be life-threatening. Meconium may stain the amniotic fluid. He or she may be born with clubfoot, or the bridge of his or her nose may be flattened. You may need to have a cesarean section (C-section). You may have a miscarriage or stillbirth.

What can I do to care for myself until delivery?

How can I lower my risk for oligohydramnios in a future pregnancy?

When should I seek immediate care?

When should I contact my healthcare provider?

Care Agreement

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