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A 40-year-old member asked:

what happens during an amniocentesis?

2 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Pam Yoder
Specializes in Maternal-Fetal Medicine
Amnio step-by-step: Consent is obtained; questions are answered. Ultrasound is used to find best location for needle. Iodine is wiped on skin. Ultrasound is placed on abdomen again. Skin may or may not be numbed by injection. Amniocentesis needle (long but thin) is inserted through abdominal wall into amniotic sac. Syringe is attached; fluid is withdrawn. Heartbeat is checked. Skin is cleaned. Instructions are given.
Dr. Craig Keathley
Obstetrics and Gynecology 24 years experience
Amniotic fluid: Initially, a sonogram is performed that facilitates locating an appropriate pocket of fluid. Then under ultrasound guidance, the needle is passed through your abdominal wall, into the uterus, and into the selected pocket of fluid. Amniotic fluid is then aspirated with a syringe to be sent for diagnostic studies. The needle is removed and the fetal well being is confirmed post procedure.

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A 27-year-old member asked:

Why should I get cvs or amnio?

3 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Padmavati Garvey
A Verified Doctoranswered
A US doctor answeredLearn more
Genetic info: These tests are for women who have a higher risk for having a baby with a genetic problem like down's syndrome and for women who would act on this information such as terminating the pregnancy. Though a cvs can obtain this information much earlier than an amnio, it has a much higher rate of miscarriage than an amnio.
A 29-year-old member asked:

What can I expect to happen during amniocentesis?

2 doctor answers11 doctors weighed in
Dr. Helayne Merkin
Obstetrics and Gynecology 45 years experience
Fluid taken from sac: Amnio is a test done at 15-20 wks of pregnancy to check if a fetus has a genetic disorder like down's syndrome.It is usually done for women >35 y/o or with a previous abnormal screening test like an msafp test or NT test.An ultrasound is done 1st to check the fetus, the fluid and placenta.A very thin needle is used to remove the fluid with ultrasound guidance.Anesthesia usually not needed.
A member asked:

Are there risks involved in getting an amniocentesis or cvs?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Padmavati Garvey
A Verified Doctoranswered
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Yes: Both have a risk of miscarriage. The risk is about 4 times higher with a cvs than an amniocentesis.
A 28-year-old member asked:

Why is it important to do cvs or amniocentesis?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Padmavati Garvey
A Verified Doctoranswered
A US doctor answeredLearn more
Personal decision: Both tests are 100% accurate in determining whether or not the baby has chromosomal problems like down's syndrome. Women over 40 have a 1 in 20 risk of this. Some people would terminate the pregnancy if they knew the baby had a chromosomal problem. The cvs gives you info earlier than the amnio but has a higher miscarriage rate.
A 42-year-old member asked:

Is a cvs a higher risk procedure than amniocentesis?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Erin Alward
Obstetrics and Gynecology 17 years experience
No: Amniocentesis is usually offered between 15-20 weeks, with a pregnancy loss rate of about 1 in 300-500. Chorionic villus sampling (cvs) is offered after 9 weeks. The pregnancy loss rate appears to be about the same as amniocentesis. There are additional fetal risks if it is performed before 7 weeks. The benefit of cvs is earlier detection, which allows for safer termination, if desired.

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Last updated Dec 23, 2014

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