Low Amniotic Fluid, Possible Kidney Problem?

Hello, I am very new to this site- just found it today. I am currently 21 weeks pregnant and it was found at 18 weeks that I had very low amniotic fluid, though I was never told a number. At the time, the perinatologist told me that everything looked fine and there was no obvious reason for the low fluid so they said it was due to the placenta. I was tested for pPROM and the test was negative. I was put on bedrest for 2 weeks and then this past Tuesday I went back for an ultrasound. The perinatologist said I still have low fluid but now the kidneys look echogenic though there was a good amount of urine in the baby's bladder. The heartrate was good (157) and the baby's growth is on track. However, the baby's lungs aren't developing properly- pulmonary hypoplasia, I was encouraged to be induced but my husband and I refused. The doctors here seem very surprised that I don't plan on inducing at least until several weeks after viability unless I have to. Has anyone had experience with this?

Report post

6 replies. Join the discussion

I thought I was leaking fluid at 14w6d. The tests were negative. Flash forward to 18w5d when an u/s showed very low fluid. Peri said could be pPROM, placenta or kidneys. Kidneys were normal size and no cysts seen. Tested again for fluid leak and everything was negative.

At 19w5d I had an amnioinfusion where dye was injected into my amniotic sac and it was proven that I did have a leak. The leak was not noticeable to me until I was 21 weeks or so- it really seemed like normal discharge at first.

The can not diagnosis pulmonary hypoplasia by u/s only. Believe me, if there was an accurate way to test for it I would have had it. They can predict it based on you having low fluids but you will not know how well your baby's lungs have developed until he/she is born. I have met many, many, many pPROM moms now and have seen a lot of parents take home babies that were not supposed to make it.

I have a blog http://babygirltee-jennifer.blogspot.com/ if you would like to read more of our story. You will have to scroll back a ways to get to my pregnancy. If you have any questions I am happy to answer them.

It is not uncommon to have the amniotic fluid tests come back negative even when there is a leak. Until you know for certain I would take precautions to avoid infection.

Whatever the reason behind your low fluid I wish you the best. I know how scary it is to face.


Report post

we had low amniotic fluid at 20 weeks but the baby was measuring fine but they checked me again at 24 weeks and the baby was measuring about 3 weeks behind. The final diagnosis was placental insufficiency. The amniotic fluid becomes low because the baby brain spares and shuts down other organs, such as the kidneys, and stops peeing and so the amniotic fluid levels drop(amniotic fluid is pee from the baby). I would not induce, that is what they told me to do as well and my baby started growing again and made it to 27 weeks and is now in the nICU at 2 weeks adjusted 5 1/2 pounds and yes he does have bpd lung issues due to low amniotic fluid but is doing well and hope to be out of NICU in a couple of months. It has been a very long, stressful, emotional, traumatic journey, I will tell you, but I have a beautiful little boy. Good luck to you and keep us updated as to your next appointment.

Report post

Thank you ladies so much for your replies! Your stories truly encourage me.
Jennifer- I am going to your blog now- I can't wait to read about your journey
Sewnostalgic- I have read about that happening (the test being negative but in fact being ruptured). I am already on an antibiotic for recurrent UTI's and am being careful (I'm a nurse). I will keep you all updated- I have an appt Wednesday at UCSF Fetal Treatment Center where we hope they can give us better answers.


Report post

I leaked at 12 weeks and then at 20 weeks it was found that I had Oligohydramnios. I was told to come back after considering an abortion, I REFUSED RIGHT THEN and put myself on bed rest. I was hospitalized at 24 weeks and at 27 weeks developed CHorio and was induced and had an emergency c section. My afi- amniotic fluid level was 1. I was never able to see my baby in an ultrasound, and they thought her kidneys were the problem, but after hours of Ultrasounds they saw some fluid in her bladder and that her renal arteries were working. So my premature birth is a complete mystery.

Report post

Thank you again. I am quite nervous for my appointment tomorrow at UCSF but hoping they can help us somehow. I'm a nurse myself, so I understand a lot of the medical terminology, but the peri here had me quite confused- she went from saying she THOUGHT she could see both kidneys to saying they weren't working properly though there was visible urine in the baby's bladder. I will keep you updated on how tomorrow goes!

Report post

I hope things went well today. I had my twins at CPMC after being diagnosed with oligohydramnios at 17 weeks. I saw Dr. Sandburg at SF Perinatal Associates and he was just amazing. He did advise termination, but he was very realistic with us and what the data available said about pregnancies like mine, but he was also very comforting. My levels were around 2 at the worst, but eventually they found pockets of 4 and I was able to hold on until almost 29 weeks. I drank about 5-6 liters of water a day because I'd read studies that suggested drinking a lot of water could increase your levels. I don't know if that's what did it for me, but my fluid level did increase once I started doing that. My boys are 1 now and doing really, really well. Their kidneys were functioning, their heartbeats were normal, and their growth was always within normal ranges. Those were the reasons we decided to proceed with the pregnancy.

Report post

This discussion is closed to replies. We close all discussions after 90 days.

If there's something you'd like to discuss, click below to start a new discussion.

Things you can do

Discussion topics

Preemie links and resources

Narratives from the NICU -- Read the special report

Community leaders