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Amniotic Fluid – What Does It Look Like?

Amniotic Fluid - What Does It Look Like

Amniotic fluid is the protective fluid that is found in the amniotic sac of a pregnant woman. The fetus grows inside of this fluid. This fluid plays an important role during the intrauterine growth of the developing fetus. The amniotic fluid protects the fetus from getting jammed within the uterine walls, working as a cushioning substance. It also plays a great role in absorbing electrolytes, lipids, proteins, phospholipids and carbohydrates, which are very important and essential for the growing baby.

Amniotic Fluid Development

This fluid starts to develop during the second week of the pregnancy. It is normal to have frequent vaginal discharge of this fluid during pregnancy, as amniotic fluid stays within the body.

A normal amniotic fluid has no color, but sometimes it is in slight yellow color. It has no odor and can smell like sweet. Sometimes, during the vaginal discharge the fluid can contain mucus spots or blood spots.

During pregnancy, it is normal to have vaginal discharges, even though it is kind of hard to distinguish the nature of this discharge. It can be urine, amniotic fluid or other fluids.

If it is urine, it is more likely to occur during the second trimester and especially during the third trimester of pregnancy, as the growing fetus puts pressure into the urinary bladder. It is normal to leak small amounts of urine while coughing, sneezing or laughing.  The color of urine will be clear yellow or a little bit darker, smelling something similar to ammonium.

If it is amniotic fluid, it will follow the urination. The amount of amniotic fluid leaked should be monitored as it could be something serious, which requires medical help.

Vaginal discharge of any other nature will be thicker than the urine and amniotic fluid. It can be white or yellow in color, usually without an odor. However, when there is an infection causing the vaginal discharge there could be a bad smell and yellowish to greenish color of the discharge.

Reasons That Lead to a Leak of the Amniotic Fluid

Many things can be the cause of amniotic fluid leakage. Regardless, of the cause it should be monitored as it could be something serious. Some of the most common causes include:

  • Vaginal or cervical infections
  • Infections caused due to sexually transmitted diseases
  • Stress or any other psychological problems
  • Premature amniotic rupture history
  • Injury or damage on amniotic bag
  • Defective amniotic bag, etc.

Leakage of the Amniotic Fluid

If the leakage of the amniotic fluid occurs before the 34th week of pregnancy, medical help is necessary. Your health care provider will give you immediately steroidal medicines in order to enhance the growth and development of the baby’s lungs. Your health care provider will monitor the amount of the amniotic fluid remained within the sac and the condition of the baby. If it is necessary, C-section is performed in order to deliver the baby pre term.

If the leakage of the fluid occurs between the 34th and 37th week, the situation is a little less risky as the baby is more developed. However, immediate medical help is necessary and sometimes the birth is induced. Any delay may lead to complications related to delivery (Learn also: Assisted Birth). There is also the risk of infections that can be harmful for the mother and for the baby.

If the leakage of the amniotic fluid occurred when the pregnancy is on term, usually the labor starts on its own, or it is induced as the baby needs to be delivered within 24 hours after water break.


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This website contains general information about medical conditions and treatments. The information is not medical advice.

If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.