Amniocentesis is the use of a needle to have a sample of amniotic fluid, the fluid that surrounds growing fetus. Tests of fetal cells present in this fluid can show the existence of Down syndrome or other chromosome issues in the infant. Amniocentesis may also reveal whether the lungs of the infant are not immature enough to permit it to endure if it were delivered immediately.

Another test that delivers similar information is known as chorionic villus sampling (CVS). Women can have done somewhat earlier in pregnancy. Your doctor will enable you to determine which test is most suitable for you personally.

Amniocentesis is usually suggested for pregnant women over age 35, women who've an unusual "triple screen" blood test during pregnancy, or women who've (or whose husbands have) a family history of particular disorders or birth defects.

Why Amniocentesis is Performed

An entire anatomical ultrasound will probably be done before amniocentesis. But amniocentesis is done to seek out specific kinds of birth defects, a chromosomal abnormality, such as Down syndrome.

Modest danger for both mom and her infant, the prenatal test is usually offered to women that have a substantial danger of genetic diseases, including those who:

- Possess a family history of specific birth defects
- Have an unusual ultrasound
- Have previously had a child or pregnancy using a birth defect

Amniocentesis will not detect all birth defects, but nevertheless, it can be utilized in case the parents possess a considerable genetic risk, to find the following conditions:

- Sickle cell disease
- Down syndrome
- Cystic fibrosis
- Tay Sachs and ailments that are similar
- Muscular

Amniocentesis can discover specific neural tube defects (ailments where the brain and spinal column do not grow correctly), such as spina bifida and anencephaly.

If you're experiencing an amniocentesis, you can request to figure out the infant's sex; amniocentesis is the most exact method to ascertain the infantís gender.

Because ultrasound is done during the time of amniocentesis, it could find birth defects which are not discovered by amniocentesis (like cleft palate, cleft lip, club foot, or heart defects). There are a few birth defects, nevertheless, which will not be found by either amniocentesis or ultrasound.

An amniocentesis may also be performed during the third trimester of the pregnancy learn whether the infantís lungs are mature enough or to assess the amniotic fluid for illness.

Prior to the onset of the process, a local anesthetic may be given to the mom to be able to alleviate the pain felt through the insertion of the needle used to remove the fluid. A needle is generally inserted via the mother's abdominal wall, then through the wall of the uterus, and ultimately into the amniotic sac following the local anesthetic is in effect. With all the assistance of ultrasound-guidance, a doctor pulls about 20ml of amniotic fluid and punctures the sac in a location from the fetus.

In respect to the fetus, along with the amniotic sac replenishes the liquid on the next 24-48 hours. Amniocentesis First introduced by American obstetrician Fritz Friedrich Fuchs and Danish gastroenterologist Polv Riis in 1956 for fetal gender determination and up to mid-1970s amniocentesis were done 'blind' Doctors Jens Bang and Allen Northeved from Denmark were the first to report Amniocentesis done together with the guide of an ultrasound in 1972. Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS) was first performed by Italian biologist Giuseppe Simoni, in 1983. Now Real time ultrasound was used during all processes as it offers the security of the fetus and precision of results.

Fetal cells are divided in the sample that was extracted, if used for prenatal genetic diagnosis. The cells are grown in a culture medium, subsequently fixed and stained. For abnormalities the chromosomes are analyzed under a microscope. The most typical abnormalities discovered are Down syndrome (trisomy 21), Edwards syndrome (trisomy 18), and Turner syndrome (monosomy X).

Amniocentesis involves removing a little sample of amniotic fluid in the uterus so the cells it features may be examined.

Before you've amniocentesis, a healthcare professional will clarify the process for you, including the advantages along with the reason why they believe it is needed and dangers.

Amniotic fluid surrounds the fetus (unborn baby) in the womb (uterus). The fluid contains cells shed from the fetus that may be analyzed for details about the healthiness of your own baby.

They will also let you know about alternate tests that might not be inappropriate. You will normally be requested to sign a permission form, should you choose to possess amniocentesis.

Ultrasound scan

You will have an ultrasound scan before and during amniocentesis. An ultrasound scan uses high frequency sound waves to create a picture of your uterus that is relayed to your computer screen.

The ultrasound scan enables healthcare professionals to:

- ensure the needle can pass safely through the walls of your abdomen (belly) and uterus
- discover the top spot to get rid of some amniotic fluid
- assess the place of the fetus


Prior to the needle is inserted into the abdominal cavity, the place could be numbed with anesthetic. This includes having a little injection in your abdomen that will burn slightly.

Nonetheless, anesthetic is not generally needed because research indicates that it does not have much effect in most instances.

An antiseptic solution will probably be utilized to completely clean your abdomen to minimize disease. A long, thin needle will probably be inserted through your abdominal wall. It might create a sharp, stinging sense.

In about 8 out of every 100 women that have amniocentesis, not enough fluid is removed the very first time the needle is added. The needle will undoubtedly be fit again if this occurs.

Utilizing the ultrasound picture the needle will soon be passed to the amniotic sac that surrounds the fetus. A syringe is then going to be utilized to get rid of a tiny sample of the amniotic fluid, that will be sent into a lab for investigation.

Amniocentesis is not generally painful, but you may not feel comfortable during the process. Some women describe experiencing a pain just like feeling pressure or period pain when the needle is taken out.

Amniocentesis normally takes around 10 minutes. Nonetheless, it may take somewhat more in case motion or the location of the fetus causes it to be almost impossible to have a sample.


you will normally be advised to rest for 24 hours. You might have cramps (similar to menstrual cramps) for several hours and "spotting" (drops of blood out of your cervix, found in the neck of the uterus).

You need to seek urgent medical attention

- possess a high temperature (fever) of 38oC (100.4oF) or preceding
- feel
- are bleeding out of your vagina
- have clear watery fluid coming out of your vagina (that is not pee)
- have constant lower back pain or abdominal pain
- have contractions (when your abdomen tightens subsequently loosens)

Find the very best spot to take away the amniotic fluid and an ultrasound scan is performed during amniocentesis to look over the location of the fetus.

Could I Choose to Not Have an Amniocentesis?

Yes. You may receive genetic counseling prior to the task. Following benefits and the hazards of amniocentesis have already been completely described to you personally, it is possible to pick if you wish to possess the process.

Does Amniocentesis Have Dangers?

Yes. There's a tiny danger an amniocentesis could result in a miscarriage (less than 1%, or about 1 in 200 to 1 in 400). Harm to infant or mom, infection, and preterm labor are other possible complications that may happen, but are really uncommon.

What Goes On During an Amniocentesis?

You might feel small menstrual-like cramping or distress through the amniocentesis or for several hours following the task.

A tiny region of the abdomen is cleansed with an antiseptic to get ready for the amniocentesis. You could be given a local anesthetic (pain-relieving drugs) to reduce any discomfort. The doctor first situates the place of placenta and the fetus using an ultrasound. Under ultrasound guidance, the doctor inserts a thin, hollow needle through your abdomen and uterus, and in the amniotic sac, from the infant. A little bit of fluid (less than an ounce) is removed via the needle and sent for lab evaluation.

Complications of amniocentesis

Amniocentesis is a safe and reasonably common process.

For nearly all women, the advantages of getting amniocentesis - in relation to diagnosing issues together with the infant that is growing - significantly outweigh the hazards.

Nevertheless, you ought to know about the complications that are potential during or following amniocentesis so you could make the best choice. All these are summarized below.


In rather rare instances, an infection may develop when the process adds bacteria into your amniotic sac (the sac enclosing the fetus, which includes amniotic fluid). This could cause:

- tenderness of the abdomen
- a high temperature (fever) of at least 100.4oF
- contractions (when your abdomen tightens subsequently loosens)

You need to seek immediate medical attention in case you have some of these symptoms. The chance of creating a serious illness is estimated to be less than 1 in 1,000.

Injury Caused by the Needle

It is occasionally essential for the needle to go into the placenta to get into the amniotic fluid. The puncture wound usually heals without any more difficulties growing, should this happen.

During amniocentesis, the placenta (the organ that links the mom's blood supply to her unborn infant's) may be punctured by the needle.

An ultrasound scanner has become widely used to direct the needle, significantly cutting down the threat of harm.

Rhesus disease

Rhesus disease is a condition where strike her child's blood cells. The disease is not only impossible in case your blood is rhesus negative as well as your child's blood is rhesus positive. If that is true, rhesus disease could be triggered by amniocentesis in case your blood is exposed to your own infantís blood through the process.

In this case, you will be given an injection of anti- D. Immunoglobulin is a solution of antibodies (proteins made by the entire body to resist disease-carrying organisms) that may prevent rhesus disease from growing.


There is a little danger of miscarriage (loss of the pregnancy) happening in just about any pregnancy, irrespective of whether you've amniocentesis.

Why amniocentesis often leads to some miscarriage, it is not known for certain. Nonetheless, it might be brought on by factors including bleeding, disease or injury to the amniotic sac that surrounds the infant.

The likelihood of getting a miscarriage is estimated to be about 1 in 100, in the event you have amniocentesis after 15 weeks of pregnancy. The danger is higher when the task is performed before 15 weeks.

Occur within the very first 72 hours of the process. Nevertheless, in some instances a miscarriage can happen after than this (up to fourteen days after).

Club foot

Club foot, also called talipes, is a deformity of the foot and the ankle, and it is present at birth (congenital).

Having amniocentesis early (before week 15 of the pregnancy) has been connected to a higher danger of the unborn infant growing club foot.

Due to the increased danger of a baby growing club foot, amniocentesis is not advocated before 15 weeks of pregnancy.

Inconclusive results

Chromosomes are the threadlike structures inside cells that carry genetic information in the kind of genes.

Nonetheless, you need to bear in mind that amniocentesis can not test for disease or every affliction, and it can not ensure your infant will be born entirely healthy.

It might be reassuring when the results suggest there are no signs of any developmental issues and your growing baby has normal chromosomes after having amniocentesis.

Do you know dangers and unwanted effects to mom or infant?

The threat of miscarriage ranges from 1. In facilities where amniocentesis is done routinely, the speeds are closer to 1 in 400. Miscarriages can occur due to illness in water breakage the uterus, or labor being caused prematurely.

It's understood as an invasive diagnostic test that really does present possible dangers, although amniocentesis is thought of as a safe process. As stated by the Mayo Clinic, it's performed about 200,000 times a year. Miscarriage is the primary danger associated with amniocentesis.

Although extremely rare, it's not impossible for the needle to come in touch with all the infant. Using a sonogram to steer the needle from the child excellent precautions are taken. The mother may experience a sharp pain when it enters the uterus and when the needle enters the skin.

Following conclusion of the process, the mother may experience other negative effects including:

- Leakage of fluid
- Cramping
- Slight annoyance across the puncture site

Get in touch with your health care provider if these complications continue or get worse.

Who's a candidate for amniocentesis?

Women within the age of 35 have an elevated likelihood of taking a baby. Thus, the present recommendation is the fact that women who'll be age 35 or older in the time of delivery be offered an amniocentesis for fetal chromosome testing. It may lead to intellectual disabilities or alternative birth defects as seen with Down's syndrome. The chance for getting a baby using a chromosomal defect increases together with the exact age of the mom.

- the rate increases to 1 out of 63.
- the opportunity is all about 1 in 178.
- the ratio is 1 in 8.
- After 35, of taking a baby having a chromosomal abnormality, the chance might be more common than experiencing the complications related to this specific process.
- For women younger than 35, the chance of complications as an outcome of amniocentesis outweighs the chance the baby has a chromosomal abnormality.

Amniocentesis might be advocated, when there is a family history of chromosomal issues or history of previous arrivals when a chromosomal problem was discovered. But, the precise advantage of amniocentesis in these types of scenarios is not certain. Many chromosomal defects might not reappear in subsequent pregnancies, and genetic counseling will help a woman determine whether amniocentesis would be of value in these types of scenarios