Mild cases of polyhydramnios rarely require treatment and may go away on their own. Even cases that cause discomfort can usually be managed without intervention.
In other cases, treatment for an underlying condition — such as diabetes — may help resolve polyhydramnios.
If you experience preterm labor, shortness of breath or abdominal pain, you may need treatment — potentially in the hospital. Treatment may include:
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- Drainage of excess amniotic fluid. Your health care provider may use amniocentesis to drain excess amniotic fluid from your uterus. You may need to repeat the procedure — sometimes referred to as amnioreduction — multiple times as your pregnancy progresses. Amnioreduction carries a small risk of complications, including preterm labor, placental abruption and premature rupture of the membranes.
- Medication. Your health care provider may prescribe the oral medication indomethacin (Indocin) to help reduce fetal urine production and amniotic fluid volume. Indomethacin isn't recommended beyond 31 weeks of pregnancy. Due to the risk of fetal heart problems, your baby's heart may need to be monitored with a fetal echocardiogram and Doppler ultrasound. Other side effects may include nausea, vomiting, acid reflux and inflammation of the lining of the stomach (gastritis).
- Beloosesky R, et al. Polyhydramnios. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Oct. 5, 2011.
- Cunningham FG, et al. Disorders of amniotic fluid volume. In: Cunningham FG, et al. Williams Obstetrics. 23rd edition. New York, N.Y.: McGraw-Hill Companies; 2010. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=6026246. Accessed Oct. 6, 2011.
- Polyhydramnios. March of Dimes. http://www.marchofdimes.com/pregnancy/complications_polyhydramnios.html. Accessed Oct. 6, 2011.
- Ross MG, et al. National institute of child health and development conference summary: Amniotic fluid biology — basic and clinical aspects. The Journal of Maternal-Fetal Medicine. 2001;10:2.
- Gilbert WM. Amniotic fluid disorders. In: Gabbe SG, et al. Obstetrics: Normal and Problem Pregnancies. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2007. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-4/0/1528/0.html. Accessed Oct. 6, 2011.
- Strehlow SL, et al. Diabetes mellitus & pregnancy. In: DeCherney AH, et al. Current Diagnosis & Treatment Obstetrics & Gynecology. 10th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2007. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=9. Accessed Oct. 10, 2011.
- Carlo WA. High-risk pregnancies. In: Kliegman RM, et al. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 19th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2011. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-6/0/1608/0.html. Accessed Oct. 11, 2011.
- Screening for birth defects. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. http://www.acog.org/publications/faq/faq165.cfm. Accessed Oct. 10, 2011.
- Special tests for monitoring fetal health. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. http://www.acog.org/publications/faq/faq098.cfm. Accessed Oct. 10, 2011.