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Amniotic fluid - Definition


Amniotic fluid is the fluid in which the embryo and then the fetus develop during pregnancy. It is contained in the yolk sac, or amnion. It is composed mainly of water, but also of secretions from the fetus, especially kidney (urine), and cells derived from both the fetus and the amniotic sac. Amniotic fluid protects the fetus by absorbing shocks, protects against infections, and promotes movement. It can be analyzed in an amniocentesis sample taken to study the fetal karyotyping in certain circumstances which enables the study of chromosomes of the fetus. Loss of amniotic fluid during the rupture of the amniotic sac, announces the beginning of the birthing process.