Skip to Content
Home > Wellness > Health Library > Amniotic Fluid Index
Amniotic fluid index is a way of measuring the amount of
liquid that is around a baby (fetus) in the uterus during pregnancy. It is
usually done as part of the biophysical profile (BPP), which is a series of
tests that measure the health of the baby during pregnancy.
Amniotic fluid protects the fetus from
temperature extremes and from being bumped or hurt as the mother moves around.
It also allows the fetus to move around in the uterus and is important for lung
and limb development. A problem with the amount of amniotic fluid could point
to a problem with the growing fetus. Too much or too little fluid could also
cause problems during labor and delivery.
Doctors use ultrasound to calculate the amniotic fluid index. The doctor
looks at the amount of amniotic fluid in four different areas of the uterus.
The four areas are called quadrants. The doctor measures how much fluid is in
each quadrant. Then he or she adds up the numbers to get an idea of the total
amount of fluid that surrounds the baby.
Current as of:
September 9, 2014
Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine & William Gilbert, MD - Maternal and Fetal Medicine
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.
To learn more, visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2015 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.