Fetal Hydrops: Main Causes and Treatments

When a woman is pregnant, it is quite common for her to be concerned about the health of her future baby and, therefore, to be attentive to all types of problems that may arise. Diseases such as fetal hydrops are an example that it is possible for problems to occur even before labor , causing great concern in mothers.

At the same time, it is necessary to know that there are treatments and solutions for this type of problem, even though there are also some risks and complications that the disease can bring. Let’s talk more deeply today about all aspects of fetal hydrops so that you can better understand how it arises and how it can be treated.

What is Fetal Hydrops?

It is a disease that occurs even when the baby is inside the belly, where fluids are accumulated in different parts of the fetus’ body. The big problem is the accumulation of these fluids in vital organs like the lungs, the heart and the brain. Fetal hydrops typically occur in at least two different locations on the fetus’ body and this is exactly what makes treatment so difficult.

There are cases where it affects only a part of the fetus’ body, but these are more rare. The disease is curable, although in its worst complications it can cause edema and, consequently, the abortion of the fetus. Because it is such a dangerous disease, it is also very feared by pregnant women, but it is necessary to know well what causes fetal hydrops and how it acts on your baby’s body before worrying and taking any action.

Causes of Fetal Hydrops

Several factors can cause fetal hydrops. It can be an immune disease, that is, caused by the RH factor , which is basically the difference between the mother’s blood and the baby’s negative with positive (A negative with A positive, for example), but it can also have non-immune causes. The main ones are:

The real cause for each case of hydrops fetalis can only be pointed out after the diagnosis made by a specialized doctor.

How is Fetal Hydrops Diagnosed?

The diagnosis of fetal hydrops can be made by means of a simple ultrasound examination, which indicates where in the fetus’ body the waters are accumulating, in addition to also showing signs of swelling in the placenta. The test can also indicate the severity of the disease, which will make a difference when the doctor tells you what is the best treatment to be done in each case.

Treatments of Fetal Hydrops

Depending on the severity of each case and the part of the fetus body that is affected, the type of treatment indicated by a doctor may vary. The first step taken by doctors is usually to indicate the use of corticosteroids so that the baby’s growth is accelerated and the baby can be born as soon as possible, since treatment outside the uterus is much easier. There are, however, some exceptions where surgery is performed with the fetus still in the womb. It is a very delicate type of surgery and therefore doctors avoid using this type of treatment, although it is often necessary.

Depending on the age of the fetus, the doctor may also recommend an emergency cesarean section so that the baby is born and can be treated as soon as possible outside the womb. After birth, every baby affected by fetal hydrops needs to continue treatment, which will involve different medications depending on the cause of the disease.

Complications of Fetal Hydrops

As we mentioned earlier, the worst complication of fetal hydrops is spontaneous abortion, which ends up occurring mainly in more serious cases, such as when it affects organs such as the brain or the heart. When the disease reaches two different sites, treatment is always more complicated, as well as the chances of complication are also greater.

However, when hydrops fetalis appears in only one part of the fetus’ body, complications can be minor , being only heart or breathing problems, depending on the affected site.

Does Fetal Hydrops Relate to the Zika Virus?

There is no evidence that the two diseases are related , although there have been cases of fetuses with microcephaly who also had fetal hydrops. To date, no study has been able to correlate the disease with the virus, indicating that these cases have been isolated and that these are more coincidences than indications of any complications.

Diseases affect us at all ages and are part of everyone’s life. However, when such a serious problem occurs with a baby still in the making, it really becomes a worrying thing. Fortunately nowadays it is much easier to identify and, consequently, treat diseases such as fetal hydrops more accurately. And while we hope that medical advances will help us even more in the future, it is necessary to know how to treat these problems now and take all measures that are within our reach so that the baby is as little affected as possible and that he can have a good and healthy life. healthy.

See also: Fetal Suffering – Indication for Childbirth?

Dr. Alexis Hart
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My name is Dr. Alexis Hart I am 38 years old, I am the mother of 3 beautiful children! Different ages, different phases 16 years, 12 years and 7 years. In love with motherhood since always, I found it difficult to make my dreams come true, and also some more after I was already a mother.

Since I imagined myself as a mother, in my thoughts everything seemed to be much easier and simpler than it really was, I expected to get pregnant as soon as I wished, but it wasn’t that simple. The first pregnancy was smooth, but my daughter’s birth was very troubled. Joana was born in 2002 with a weight of 2930kg and 45cm, from a very peaceful cesarean delivery but she had already been born with congenital pneumonia due to a broken bag not treated with antibiotics even before delivery.

Dr. Alexis Hart

My name is Dr. Alexis Hart I am 38 years old, I am the mother of 3 beautiful children! Different ages, different phases 16 years, 12 years and 7 years. In love with motherhood since always, I found it difficult to make my dreams come true, and also some more after I was already a mother.Since I imagined myself as a mother, in my thoughts everything seemed to be much easier and simpler than it really was, I expected to get pregnant as soon as I wished, but it wasn’t that simple. The first pregnancy was smooth, but my daughter’s birth was very troubled. Joana was born in 2002 with a weight of 2930kg and 45cm, from a very peaceful cesarean delivery but she had already been born with congenital pneumonia due to a broken bag not treated with antibiotics even before delivery.

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