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Definition Return to top
Polyhydramnios is the presence of excessive amniotic fluid surrounding the unborn infant.
Considerations Return to top
Amniotic fluid surrounds and cushions the infant throughout development. There may be too little or too much amniotic fluid due to problems in the fetus.
Polyhydramnios can occur if the fetus does not swallow and absorb amniotic fluid in normal amounts. This can happen due to gastrointestinal disorders, brain and nervous system (neurological) problems, or a variety of other causes. Polyhydramnios may also be related to increased fluid production, as is the case with certain fetal lung disorders.
Sometimes, no specific cause for polyhydramnios is found.
Causes Return to top
What to Expect at Your Office Visit Return to top
This condition is discovered during pregnancy, and evaluated before delivery. If the health care provider finds a fetal abnormality, the baby will be delivered in a hospital with specialists who can provide immediate evaluation and treatment.
Documenting polyhydramnios may include: