Leaking Amniotic Fluid: Signs, Causes, Symptoms, and 5 Treatments

The pregnant woman who broke the water

When you feel leaking while pregnant, you’ll be caught off-guard and may be slightly embarrassed. Even if no one can see the leak, the mere feeling may leave you running in the other direction and scared that something may be wrong with your pregnancy.

Leaking amniotic fluid is often called “pregnancy discharge,” and there are several reasons that it can occur.

But, you need to fully understand what this fluid is before we dive deeper into symptoms, signs, causes and treatment options.

What is Amniotic Fluid?

The fetus is beginning to grow, and you know that one day your “water” will break and you’ll give birth. As your fetus grows in the uterus, amniotic fluid will surround the fetus to act as a protectorate. The fluid will ensure that:

  • The uterus doesn’t contract too tightlyBaby surrounding by amniotic fluid
  • The baby is cushioned properly

Without amniotic fluid, your baby would not be nearly as protected. The fluid isn’t present all of the time. Instead, it takes approximately two weeks after fertilization occurs for the fluid to start being produced and protect the fetus.

All of the fluid is pushed into an amniotic sac wall. Two membranes make up the wall itself: chorion and amnion. These membranes work to ensure that the baby is properly sealed within the sac for added protection. And when your water breaks, this is really the amniotic sac wall breaking.

The broken wall will allow for all of the amniotic fluid to gush out. Now, you’ve probably seen women on television that have gallons of water gush out of them prior to birth. This isn’t always the case – it isn’t as dramatic as on television. But you will notice when your water breaks and will want to consult with a doctor because you’re likely ready to go into labor.

[Read more about Labor]

Causes for Leaking Amniotic Fluid

If you’re getting contractions, you’ve noticed fluid coming out and your close to giving birth, please get offline and prepare for labor. If your water has not broken but a small leak is experienced, this can be caused by numerous conditions:

1. Beginning of LaborPregnant woman feeling the labor sign at home

Before the sac completely breaks, it is put under a lot of tension and pressure. Eventually, all of this tension and pressure will cause the sac to slowly leak. This slow leaking will eventually lead to your water breaking completely and you going into labor as a result.

2. Premature Rupture

Before the body is ready to deliver, a tear or rupture of the sac may occur. Fluid will begin to leak out, and this may be a premature rupture. For the premature rupture classification to be accurate, it must occur between weeks 37 and 38.

There are numerous causes for a premature rupture, including:

  • Maintaining a poor diet
  • Abuse of alcohol or drugs
  • Bacterial infection
  • An infection in the vagina or uterus
  • Past surgeries of the uterus or vagina
  • Abnormal uterus development

3. Amniotic Sac Membrane Split

The least worrisome cause of leaking. Since the two membranes join to seal, these membranes can slightly split during pregnancy. If this splitting occurs, it will result in a leakage of amniotic fluid.

You may call this “pregnancy leakage,” and it should be a gush of water. And the best part is that you won’t have to be concerned. The two membranes will eventually heal and rejoin. Unless a serious complication has occurred, the two membranes will join together as they heal meaning the leaking will stop all on its own.

When Leaking Fluid Causes ComplicationsThe pregnant woman who broke the water

Every woman should be very cautious of their body while pregnant. Leaking fluid can be the sign of more serious issues, and if the fluid continues to leak, this can lead to severe complications.

If the fluid continues to leak and you haven’t sought treatment, this can lead to:

  • Complications and problems with the baby’s organ development
  • Infections that can eventually be spread to the fetus complicating pregnancy
  • The miscarriage of the baby
  • Stillbirth

Women will want to be on the lookout for leaking fluid during the first and second trimester. These two trimesters are vital to the baby’s development, and if leaking does occur, it can lead to miscarriage or stillbirth.

5 Treatments for Leaking Amniotic Fluid

The signs of leaking amniotic fluid are apparent: you begin leaking. This is different from normal discharge and will have much more fluidity. Odorless and plentiful, the fluid will soak the woman’s undergarment. If it is not time to go into labor, it will likely be a little fluid that has leaked.

The best way to determine what liquid has leaked is to smell it. if it’s odorless, it’s likely that this is amniotic fluid. And if you can ascertain the origin of the fluid, contact your doctor whom will be able to determine if the leakage is amniotic fluid leaking or not.

Before any course of treatment is provided, a medical professional will:

  • Test your vitals and conduct tests to ensure no infection has occurred
  • Check pH levels to get a sample of the leaking fluid
  • Check for the emergence of fluid from the vagina and collect a sample
  • Conduct an ultrasound to determine fluid levels and the cause for leaking fluid

Once all of this is done, your doctor will start treating leaking amniotic fluid based on how far along you are.

1. Week 24 or Earlier

Leaking amniotic fluid on underpants
Source: https://www.whattoexpect.com/

Very early into the pregnancy. You’ll be admitted to the hospital and monitored. Your doctor will discuss your options at this time, but it’s too early to deliver naturally and the chances of miscarriage are elevated.

2. Week 24 31

Admission to the hospital will occur, and the doctor will try to delay pregnancy. Antibiotics will be given to avoid infection and steroids will be given to help the baby’s lung development in the event delivery is required.

3. Week 32 33

Antibiotics and steroids will be given at this time. You’ll be monitored and the doctor will begin discussing delivery options.

4. Week 34+

Close to giving birth, you’ll be admitted to the hospital for monitoring. Antibiotics are given to avoid infection and labor can be induced if necessary.

5. Hydration

Doctors will try to help you rehydrate at this time. You will be given fluids and be prepared to have an IV attached.

The doctor may need to push fluids into the sac to further protect the baby and pad the baby for delivery. In the event that the membrane is splitting, the good news is that you’ll be monitored and the membrane is likely to heal itself. This healing will occur naturally, and once healed, the leakage will cease.

Leaking amniotic fluid can be a sign that the sac has ruptured or the membrane has split causing you to leak. If you experience leaking, you want to contact your doctor at this time. It’s never a good idea to wait and see if the leaking will stop on its own. While many women experience leaking that is not dangerous to the uterus, you’ll want to be extra cautious at this time. In most cases, the doctor will conduct tests and the issue will resolve itself naturally.

If leaking occurs later on in the pregnancy, labor may be induced to prevent any possible complications from occurring.


  1. Hi I am 20 weeks pregnant and had bleeding and cramping before 2 weeks.was admitted in the hospital for a week and discharged given antibiotics.i had a review after a week where they found no fluid in my womb suggesting me to terminate the child as there will be chances of deformalites in my child even if I can complete the term and deliver.what I am doing at present is I am taking rest for a week if water restored.can anyone suggest me

    • The water can restore it’s self. I had a premi. Went into labor at 26 wk full water break and the sac created a damn and fluid filled back up and gave birth at 29 wks. She was 6 wks in nicu but now is 5 yrs old with no problems

  2. I did delivered a month ago. I had a tear during the delivery which the doctor stitched severally. Now, the wound is healing but I have being experiencing dropping of fluid gummy in nature.
    What should I do to stop the dripping

  3. I am 15 weeks I experienced some dripping down there and it was very lose and liquidy however I had intercourse recently before that but now I am so afraid like what are the odds that my child will survive?

    • I m 22 weeks prgnant 3 days before i went for anomly scan baby is normal but i have lower placenta and cervical opening. For it dr suggested for stitches… i feel little dischrge is every thing ok or no?? What i do

  4. if a pregnant women in 7th month pregnancy with leaking membrane .can patient use the tab of gynosporin vaginally inserted .pl tell me fast

  5. I’m almost 20 weeks and I had leakage at 17 weeks and started again tonight. I’m pregnant with twins. I’m worried and scared. I’m not cramping or bleeding.

  6. I am 6 month pregnant. Last few days before my aminioticfluid has leaked and admitted in hospital. Doctor has seal my waterfluid bag. Two days after I have goes my mom house for car driven for slowly. It became anyone problem to my baby?

  7. Hi I’m 17 weeks pregnant and I have amniotic fluids leaking. The hospital suggested I terminate the baby as it won’t grow I refused as I feel the baby’s movement all the time. I seemed 2nd opinion and the obgynae advised to take good rest. I am still leaking here and there but iam still praying for a miracle. Please help as much as I’m positive sometimes I get scared.

  8. Hi I’m 17 weeks pregnant and I have amniotic fluids leaking. The hospital suggested I terminate the baby as it won’t grow I refused as I feel the baby’s movement all the time. I seeked 2nd opinion and the obgynae advised me to take a good rest. I am still leaking here and there but iam still praying for a miracle. Please help as much as I’m positive sometimes I get scared.


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