Leaking Amniotic Fluid

Leaking amniotic fluid is described as a sudden gush of fluid from the vagina that goes on continuously. It can either be a good or bad sign, depending on the stage of the pregnancy that pregnant women should be aware of. It is a welcome sign when it occurs during the final stages of pregnancy. On the other hand, leaking amniotic fluid when the pregnancy has not yet come to term requires prompt medical attention because the lives of both the mother and baby are at stake.

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Causes of Leaking Amniotic Fluid

The timing best determines whether leaking amniotic fluid should cause worry or not. If the amniotic fluid leaks out between the 37th and 40th week of pregnancy, then it really should not be a cause of concern. It happens because the amniotic sac has ruptured because the pregnancy is at term and childbirth will follow anytime soon. This condition is medically referred to as SROM or spontaneous rupture of membranes, or simply known as water breaking.

On the contrary, if leaking of the amniotic fluid occurs earlier than normal, something wrong is happening with the pregnancy. This condition is called PROM or premature rupture of membrane. in this case, the leakage of the amniotic fluid shouldn’t be ignored because it may cost the life of the mother or the child, or both. Any rip in the amniotic sac opens the baby’s protective barrier inside the womb, making him or her susceptible to infection, thereby endangering the baby’s as well as the mother’s life.

There a number of factors that could trigger premature leakage of the amniotic fluid, including:

  • Bacterial infection

This is responsible for most cases of premature leaking of the amniotic fluid. The bacteria might have entered through the vagina and invaded the uterus and the fetus within.

  • Structural defects and trauma

Any damage or trauma to the cervix, uterus or amniotic sac may cause harm to the amniotic sac and result in premature leaking. This usually happens in the diagnostic procedure called amniocentesis. Amniocentesis is done to diagnose fetal infections as well as chromosomal and genetic abnormalities.

  • Ruptured amniotic sac

A severe tear in the amniotic sac will result in the untimely rupture and leakage of the fluid from within.

Steps to take when leaking amniotic fluid occurs

It is very important for expectant moms to be well-informed about the things to do following a leakage of the amniotic fluid. They should not allow confusion and fear to rule; rather, they must stay calm as much as possible. The following steps can help in case of amniotic fluid leakage.

  • Identify the color

What could be assumed as amniotic fluid may actually just be urine. That is why pregnant women should identify the color of the fluid that has leaked. Amniotic fluid is colorless and odorless unlike urine which may appear yellowish with a slight odor. Amniotic fluid may also have a tinge of pink, brown, green or yellow, in which case, the doctor should evaluate the situation immediately.

  • Note the time it began

It would be helpful in the diagnosis of the situation if the time the fluid leakage started is noted.  Other symptoms or occurrences that accompanied the event must likewise be reported.

  • Go to a doctor or hospital

Whether or not leaking amniotic fluid happens before or at term, the pregnant woman must go and see the doctor so that the appropriate steps can be taken promptly.

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