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What is it? Overview Usage Side Effects and Warnings

What are Amniocentesis?

Amniocentesis is the removal of a small amount of fluid from the uterus (womb). This fluid, called amniotic fluid, surrounds a developing baby.

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Amniocentesis is most often done to see if there is an abnormality in your baby's genes (DNA). It can also be done to see if your baby is developing rightly.

Some things may make your doctor more concerned that there may be a problem:

  • Mother is over 35 years old (at the time of delivery)
  • Family history of chromosome abnormality
  • Family history of inherited disorder
  • Family history of neural tube defect (problems in spine and brain growth, such as spina bifida or anencephaly)
  • To determine whether the baby's lungs are mature
  • Abnormal results from earlier blood screening test, such as maternal serum alpha-fetoprotein (AFP)

Depending on your risk factors, the cells are tested for:

  • Chromosome abnormalities—This testing detects most...

Possible Complications

If you are planning to have an amniocentesis, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:

  • Miscarriage —less than 1% risk
  • Bleeding, cramping, and leaking fluid from the vagina
  • Infection
  • Harm to the fetus by needle (rare)
  • Mixing of blood if you and your baby have different blood types
  • Need for repeat testing

Factors that may increase the risk of complications include:

  • Obesity
  • Previous abdominal surgery

Be sure to discuss these risks with your doctor before the procedure.

Call Your Doctor

After arriving home, contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:

  • Signs of infection, including fever and chills
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Pain or cramping in the lower abdomen or shoulder ...