Leaking amniotic fluid symptoms during pregnancy can sometimes be confused with leaking urine without knowing. Amniotic fluid when pregnant is normally clear and odorless unlike urine that has some smell. It is important to understand different vaginal discharge while you are pregnant. This will help you to know what is normal and what is not. Amniotic fluid is important in protecting the baby and plays a big role in early pregnancy development.
Before delivery, women might experience a sudden increase in the amount of vaginal discharge including leaking amniotic fluid. This is a great risk that is considered very dangerous and should be taken care of with immediate effect since it can cause harm to both the mother and the unborn.
CAUSES OF AMNIOTIC LEAKAGE
This process is considered normal at the last stage of the 38th- week. This is because it helps in preparation for labor. This leakage always occurs the first hour followed by labor pains. Spontaneous rupture of the membrane is a full membrane rupture that is always normal.
Although if this preterm occurs before the 37th-week of pregnancy is always considered abnormal. This is because the body has not yet prepared for labor. This might be caused by the rupture of the amniotic sac causing the leakage. Premature leakage can be caused in different ways that includes
- When one is pregnant with twins or multiple
- When one gets pregnant very soon after having a baby
- It can also be as a sign of inheritance from family history
- When one has health conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes
- Being very underweight or overweight before pregnancy
LEAKING AMNIOTIC FLUID SYMPTOMS AND SIGNS
Vaginal discharge and leaking amniotic fluid is always difficult to differentiate during pregnancy. At the 36th- week, the level of amniotic fluid is always very high. As the pregnancy develops the amount of of amniotic fluid always tends to increase.
Water breaking is a process whereby the amniotic sac breaks causing a gush of fluid. While leaking, your amniotic fluid your bladder often becomes full faster. One might leak some urine and also it helps the vagina to produce extra fluids that helps the baby pass more easily.
To differentiate between vaginal discharge, urine and amniotic leak. For leaking amniotic fluid, the following are the signs and symptoms that should be considered.
- The discharge often saturates the underwear
- It is clear, white –flecked with mucus or blood
- The discharge can be a constant trickle
- The discharge is odorless
- One might experience pelvic pressure
- In some cases, one might experience yellow or colored discharge
It is well known that the amniotic fluid supports and protects the fetus while it grows. This fluid consists of nutrients, hormones and immune systems cells. Apart from the amniotic fluid that support the growth of the fetus the umbilical and the placenta also helps in playing different rolls for the growth of the unborn.
The placenta is an organ that develops into uterus during pregnancy and it also helps in the provision of nutrients and oxygen to the fetus in addition it helps in the removal of waste products from the babies’ blood.
On the other hand, the umbilical cord is a tube like structure that connects a fetus to the mother’s placenta that helps in the exchange of oxygenated blood to the fetus. The amniotic fluid performs different functions to the fetus as follows
- It consists of nutrients that leads to the development of body organs like the limbs the lungs and the muscles.
- It also aids in the movement of the fetus and turns in the womb with no difficulties.
- It also consists of cushions that protects the unborn from external trauma.
- Since it consists of immune system and cells it helps to protect the unborn from different types of infection.
According to healthline.com, “Another way you can try to determine if the fluid is amniotic fluid is to first empty your bladder. Place a sanitary pad or panty liner in your underwear and examine the fluid that is on the pad after 30 minutes to an hour. If the fluid is yellow in color, it’s likely urine. If it isn’t, the fluid could be amniotic fluid”
THE SECOND SEMISTER
A premature rupture of membrane occurs when the amniotic fluid appears before labor pains starts. And this leakage occurs mostly on the second trimester during the pregnancy. It is considered prone when it occurs before the expectant mother reaches 37-38 weeks of pregnancy.
In most cases PROM always affects mothers that are expecting twins. This condition causes preterm births this is whereby a mother gives birth to a baby at an early stage before the exact weeks of child bearing.
There are several complications that are caused by the leaking of amniotic fluid in the second trimester
- Both the mother and the fetus will be at the risk of getting bacterial infections.
- Due to lack of amniotic fluid a mother will end having a miscarriage or early child birth.
- This also leads to poor development of fetus body organs that can lead to complications during birth hence affecting the mother too.
THE THIRD SEMISTER
During this trimester the leakage always varies differently from expecting mothers. There are those women who can break their amniotic fluid before labor contraction or after it. In most cases a regular contraction is supposed to occur during the first day of your water breakage. Therefore, if the breakage does not occur within the first day it should be considered not being normal. This condition in most cases it affects new motes delivering for their first time.
In most cases where doctor administers antibiotic intravenously, is whereby a leakage of amniotic fluid has already occurred within the 24 hours and the child is not born. This procedure helps the unborn child from being infected.
LEAKING AMNIOTIC FLUID 38 WEEKS
During this stage of pregnancy, the amniotic leakage will not take a long period. This is because the level of the fluid always lowers as one prepares for delivery. In most cases this situation always appears in the 38 week just before delivery.
During this period when preterm premature rupture of the membrane occurs it means something different hence a child might be delivered. In this case the amniotic bag always breaks round the 37 and the 38 week and in this stage the child is always fully developed.
HOME TEST OF AMNIOTIC
In most cases it is always difficult to differentiate between vaginal discharge, urine and leaking amniotic fluid. At home there are different tests that can be carried out to help in the recognition of the three.
In amniotic fluid the following are considered:
The normal amniotic fluid in most cases is clear and tinted yellow and it always saturates the undergarments more often.
Amniotic fluid does not have a distinctive odor like urine its typically clear with no smell.
This test involves the testing of as ample of vaginal fluid. And in most cases the normal Ph. of the vagina is around 4.5 to 6.5 which is referred to as a weak acid. While that of the amniotic fluid is said to be at 7.1 and 7.3 respectively. Therefore, if the membranes have raptured the sample of the vaginal fluid will be higher than normal.
This is a test that is carried with the fluid from the vagina to test the Ph. of the fluid. If the ph. is greater than 6.0 this means that the the membrane have raptured and it will be shown by a blue strip. The paper strips that contains the nitrazine will change their colors depending on the Ph. of the fluid.
This is a test that is carried out to an expectant mother to determine the cause of the amniotic rupture and the level of the amniotic fluid. This test is always carried out in hospital.
HOW LONG DOES LEAKING AMIOTIC FLUID TAKE?
The leaking of amniotic fluid in some cases are always different. Since there are those women whom it occurs as a discharge during the early stages of the pregnancy. However, in some expecting women this might be assign of almost giving birth.
In some women the labor pain will occur within two days, leading to the amniotic fluid breakage.one should not be confused with Braxton Hicks contraction which is refers to the tightening in the abdomen that always comes and goes for a short period. Note that this kind of contraction does not cause labor or open the cervices.
Since the amniotic fluid is typically odorless for other women it can be a one-time gush on the pants and it is always clear and stroked with blood streaks. Although some women claim that the amniotic fluid smells like chlorine which is sweet.
Though in most cases the leakage of the amniotic fluid will depend on the rate at which it flows. It said that the flow will take up to 600-800millimeters until its emptied. However, the flow will depend on whether it’s one has a tear or a gross rapture.
It is always advisable for women who are expecting and experiencing the leaking of amniotic fluid to use a pad. The flow can be very heavy and might end up dirtying your clothing.
LEAKING AMNIOTIC FLUID TREATMENT
Is it always advisable to seek medical attention at the week of 37-38 during pregnancy? This is always considered to be normal because it is used as a sign to tell that the baby is about to be born.
Therefore, at this stage the expectant woman will experience amniotic leakage followed by labor pain after about 1 or 2hours respectively.
During this time an expecting mother is advised not to put anything in the vagina so us to avoid infections. In most cases it’s advisable for them to be on limited bedrest or even full bedrest.
When one is preterm and suspects a leak, a test is always carried out to find out if its real amniotic fluid. Though in other words ultrasound is always carried out to determine the amount of the fluid remaining. This is to offer protecting from the unborn and the mother from being affected by bacterial infections.
When one has too much amniotic fluid in the sac this is referred to as hydramnios that can also cause leaking of the amniotic fluid. This can be taken care off by using a syringe from the amniotic suck. The fluid might also be curbed by using medications.
A condition whereby the amniotic fluid breaks at full term is known as SROM this shows that your body is preparing for labor. When this occurs within the 48 hours of the water break, labor is induced to increase a healthy delivery.
What is always important Is that one should always be aware of the changes that take place in the body. Not all leaking amniotic fluid fluid is a sign of delivery in some cases it’s just a small tear of the membrane. This kind of tear always heals on its own after sometime.
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Water breaking, Understanding signs of labor; https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/labor-and-delivery/in-depth/water-breaking/art-20044142
What is amniotic sac: https://www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/2310.aspx?CategoryID=54