مجمع عيادات المركز الإستشاري فرع المرسلاتطريق الملك عبدالله ، المرسلات ، الرياض 11564 ، المملكة العربية السعودية, الرياض
Amniocentesis is a test sometimes performed during pregnancy to check for genetic or chromosomal conditions in the baby. To do so, a sample of the amniotic fluid is taken. This is the fluid that surrounds the unborn baby in the uterus. This test can test for Down’s syndrome, for example.
Amniocentesis is performed between the 15th and 20th week of pregnancy. A thin needle is inserted through the abdominal wall, using an ultrasound to guide this. The needle is inserted into the amniotic sac and a small sample of the amniotic fluid is taken for analysis in a laboratory. The test only takes 10 minutes. After the test it is normal to have some cramps that are similar to menstrual cramps and light spotting for a couple of days. It is advised to avoid any strenuous activity for a few days after the test.
Amniocentesis is usually recommended for women at risk of having a child with congenital anomalies due to a family history with genetic disorders. Amniocentesis is offered if:
No special preparation is required before amniocentesis and you may eat and drink normally before the test. Some doctors will advise not going to the toilet before the test as a fuller bladder can make the test easier.
It is not a painful test, in fact it is usually performed without anaesthesia, however, local anaesthetic may be injected if preferred. The only pain is the needle prick, and the rest of the test should not be painful, but some women experience an uncomfortable sensation during the test.
Before you have amniocentesis you will be informed about potential risks and associated complications. These are the possible risks:
You would normally receive the results within a few days of having the test. Abnormal results may indicate that the baby has a genetic or chromosomal problem, such as Down’s syndrome, or congenital anomalies that compromise the baby's spine or brain. Most results for amniocentesis are normal, meaning no problems were found with the baby. However, amniocentesis only tests for certain problems, so the test cannot determine if your baby is completely healthy. If the results indicate a genetic condition of deformity, you can talk to a specialist about the implications of this finding. You may have to decide whether to proceed with the pregnancy or have a termination. This is a difficult decision that you will receive advice and information on from a healthcare professional.