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Can You Trust Results from an Amniotic Fluid Leak Test at Home?

Can you actually take an amniotic fluid leak test at home and actually gain results? If so, how? Well, the answer is not just a simple “yes” or “no,” because it all depends on how close you are to your due date. If you’re close to your due date, then there are no pressing concerns other than getting to the hospital quickly. You are going into labor.

However, there’s potential risk for complications or preterm birth if this happens before 37 weeks of pregnancy. Nonetheless, knowing the signs and symptoms are vital since this occurrence signals the onset of labor. Furthermore, there are some steps you can take if you suspect that the amniotic sac has indeed ruptured.

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What’s the significance of ruptured membranes?

The rupture of the amniotic sac is one factor that signals the onset of labor or an increase in the intensity of the contractions if it happens later on during labor. Around the time of the due date, this is not a reason for alarm since it is part of the birthing process. (Just make sure to get to the hospital.)

However, prior to 37 weeks, a tear in the amniotic sac causes concern due to the increased possibility of premature birth and an infection settling in for the baby once this protective membrane stops working. So if you feel that ominous trickle or a steady stream, then you will need to determine whether or not you’re leaking amniotic fluid or only if you accidentally urinated.

Signs that Membranes Have Ruptured

Also, when trying to distinguish what type of fluid is leaking, there are some additional physical symptoms that point toward a ruptured membrane that you should be aware of:

  • Feeling you can’t stop urinating
  • Excessive vaginal discharge
  • Bleeding
  • Pressure in lower pelvic region

There are other signs that might give you more of an idea of what’s going on:

  • Leakage caused by sneezing and coughing as opposed to a continuous flow
  • Gushing or trickling liquid that is a straw color but has no odor

Thus, paying very close attention these symptoms is important, but examining the leakage can give you more information to pass on to your doctor when you make the call to the hospital or office.

The Basic Amniotic Fluid Leak Test at Home

Performing an amniotic fluid leak test at home is not very complicated at all, but one thing you would need to remember is that the purpose behind this is to gain more specific details to pass on to your doctor when you call the office or hospital.

The most basic test consists of the following steps:

  • Use a sanitary pad or paper to collect some of the fluid
  • Carefully take a sniff of the wet pad; if there is no odor, then you have amniotic fluid leaking
  • Call your doctor right away since you might be going into labor.

Other Home Tests to perform while waiting 

This would require some preparation ahead of time, but you can try using a test strip that can be purchased online to measure the pH level of the fluid if you are able to collect some. Here are some possible choices of test strips:

  • Micro Essential Laboratory Inc. Hydrion pH Test Paper 334 includes a dispenser and a chart to help with the interpretation of the results. It is capable of producing readings that range between 4.5 and 7.5.
  • SelpH pH Test Strips these strips measure between 4.5 and 9; yield results in only 15 seconds.

What you would do with both strips includes:

  • Place a strip on a clean paper or paper plate.
  • Drop some fluid (one drop) on the strip and follow the instructions on the package

Also, keep in mind that amniotic fluid has a pH level that is higher than 7.1.

For more details on testing leakage to see whether or not it’s amniotic fluid, you view this video about another amniotic fluid leak test at home.

What You Should Do

To review what we have just discussed, amniotic fluid might have a straw-like color, but it is odorless unlike urine. If the membranes have ruptured, then you would have a continuous dripping or even a gush; whereas accidental urination trigger by pressure on the bladder stops.

Also, remember to take the necessary measures:

  • Use a sanitary pad to collect fluid
  • If possible try to perform one of the tests mentioned here
  • Call your doctor right away

Timing is important because leakage of amniotic fluid can cause labor to begin if you weren’t already experiencing contractions.

We’d love to hear from you if you have any more questions or some insight to share with us.

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Sarah Palmer
 

Hi! I'm Sarah. My husband and I have a beautiful little girl; plus we’re anxiously awaiting the arrival of Baby #2, so this is a very exciting time for us. Throughout this amazing journey called Parenthood, I’ve learned so much and love sharing my experiences with other parents at SarahsLovelyFamily.com. I'd love to share my discoveries with you too!

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