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What is amniocentesis?


Amniocentesis is a diagnostic procedure during which amniotic fluid is taken for genetic diagnosis to exclude or to confirm a genetic disorder of the baby you are expecting.  Based on the preceding pregnancy tests and considerations of risks for your expected baby, your attending physician has instructed you to get some counseling at the department of clinical genetics to consider the risks threatening your baby, and to recommend the amniotic fluid test.


When is it done?


Between 15-22 weeks of pregnancy.


How is it performed?


At present amniocentesis is performed in the operation room under sterile conditions without any local or general anesthetic. Amniotic fluid is removed by a longer, very thin needle, made for this purpose. The needle penetrates the frontal abdominal wall to go through the uterus wall and amniotic sac, to take the amniotic fluid. The procedure is made by the physician guided by ultrasound to exclude any risks of injury to the baby, the risks of physical injury to the woman, keeping the risks of potential later effects as low as possible.

About 30 ml of amniotic fluid is withdrawn; this amount is filled up naturally within several hours.

The only risk is a miscarriage occurring after amniocentesis.  According to the control studies by Seeds et al. (2004) amniocentesis performed under ultrasound scan, lowers the risks of pregnancy loss by 0,6%,  with the current risk of 1,08% in average population.

Amniotic fluid is sent for laboratory tests at the department of clinical genetics, where fetal cells obtained from the amniotic fluid are cultured for genetic analysis of chromosomes of your child.

If you are RH negative, you will get anti/D immunoglobulin. In this hospital the procedure is made during one day hospital stay. You can leave hospital two hours after the procedure with the recommendations for resting and recovery in the next 24-48 hours.

You will be informed of the test results by the department of clinical genetics in writing or orally.

We would like to assure you that the whole team taking care of you will do everything to prevent any complications.