Associated risks of too little amniotic fluid

Risks of Too Little Amniotic Fluid During Pregnancy
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Associated risks of too little amniotic fluid

What if your doctor tells you that you have too little amniotic fluid? What does that mean and what do you do about it? Well, too little amniotic fluid is called oligohydramnios, and it has several possible causes. It's diagnosed by ultrasound, your doctor will usually measure four quadrants of the uterus and add them up and will report an amniotic fluid index. If the amniotic fluid index or the amniotic fluid volume is low, one possible cause is rupture of membranes. Rupture of membranes is commonly known as my water broke. It's characterized by a loss of fluid from the vagina and at term, it usually marks the onset of labor. If it happens very early in pregnancy, it can lead to serious consequences including pre-term labor, and even pre-term birth. Another possible cause of low amniotic fluid volume or oligohydramnios is reduced production of fetal urine by the kidneys; that can be caused by interruption of fetal oxygenation. If that is suspected, your doctor will probably refer you to a high risk specialist for further evaluation and management.


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David Miller, MD

Chief of Maternal Fetal Medicine, Children's Hospital Los Angeles

David A. Miller, MD, is Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Pediatrics at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California and Children's Hospital Los Angeles.  He is the Chief of Maternal Fetal Medicine at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and the Director of the CHLA-USC Institute for Maternal Fetal Health, a unique alliance of medical leaders from Children's Hospital Los Angeles and USC, specializing in interdisciplinary diagnosis and treatment of complex fetal abnormalities.  Dr. Miller graduated from USC, attended medical school at the University of Arkansas, did his internship and residency at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and came back to USC for fellowship training in Maternal-Fetal Medicine (Perinatology).  He has been a researcher, clinician and educator at USC for more than 20 years.  Dr. Miller has published extensively in the area of Maternal-Fetal Medicine and has won numerous awards and honors including Best Doctors in America from 2001-present.

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