Amniotic fluid surrounds the growing fetus in the womb and protects the fetus from injury and temperature changes. It also allows for freedom of fetal movement and permits musculoskeletal development. The amniotic fluid can be withdrawn in a procedure called amniocentsis to check for chromosomal defects or other abnormalities.
Review Date: 12/10/2016
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.