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How does the doctor determine when your water’s broken?
Q: How can the doctor determine if my bag of water has broken?
A: The amniotic fluid has certain characteristics that help us determine that. We collect fluid by doing a speculum examination, and conduct a test using a piece of litmus paper to determine the fluid’s pH factor. The second test involves examining the dried fluid on a slide. If it’s amniotic fluid, it will crystallize.

Sometimes a patient will say, “My pants were drenched,” yet we can’t prove that her bag is broken. In this case, I would do an ultrasound and see how much amniotic fluid is surrounding the baby. Babies with a reduced amount of fluid reinforce the likelihood that the bag is broken.