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:
- 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).
After treatment, your doctor will still want to monitor your amniotic fluid level approximately every one to three weeks.
If you have mild to moderate polyhydramnios, you'll likely be able to carry your baby to term, delivering at 39 or 40 weeks. If you have severe polyhydramnios or if the cause of the excessive fluid threatens the baby's well-being, labor may be induced around 37 weeks — possibly earlier — to try to avoid serious complications.
Oct. 25, 2014
- Beloosesky R, et al. Polyhydramnios. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed July 29, 2014.
- Goh AY, et al. Review of maternal and perinatal outcomes for women with polyhydramnios. Archives of Diseases in Childhood Fetal and Neonatal Edition. 2014;99(suppl):A1.
- Polyhydramnios. March of Dimes. http://www.marchofdimes.com/pregnancy/polyhydramnios.aspx. Accessed July 31, 2014.
- Cunningham FG, et al. Williams Obstetrics. 23rd ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2010. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=46. Accessed July 31, 2014.
- DeCherney AH, et al. Current Diagnosis & Treatment: Obstetrics & Gynecology. 11th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2013. http://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com/book.aspx?bookid=498. Accessed July 31, 2014.