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Doctor insights on: Amniocentesis

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Dr. Monica Popov
337 Doctors shared insights

Amniocentesis (Overview)

Amniocentesis is a procedure used to draw a sample of the amniotic fluid that surrounds and cushions the baby in the womb. This fluid contains cells that have been sloughed off of the developing fetus. Amniocentesis is most often used to detect genetic abnormalities, though the results can also reveal the baby's sex, gauge lung maturity (if done close to term), detect amniotic fluid infections, or spot other pregnancy complications.


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What is amniocentesis?

What is amniocentesis?

Amnio is a procedure: Amniocentesis is the procedure during which a long, slim needle is inserted through the prenant woman's abdominal and uterine walls and through the membranes of the amniotic sac, and fluid is aspirated/drawn into a syringe attached to that needle. Fluid can be studied for chromosomes (karyotype) or special genetic disorders, for infection, for lung maturity and for other conditions of baby or mom. ...Read more

Dr. Monica Popov
337 Doctors shared insights

Amniocentesis (Overview)

Amniocentesis is a procedure used to draw a sample of the amniotic fluid that surrounds and cushions the baby in the womb. This fluid contains cells that have been sloughed off of the developing fetus. Amniocentesis is most often used to detect genetic abnormalities, though the results can also reveal the baby's sex, gauge lung maturity (if done close to term), detect amniotic fluid infections, or spot other pregnancy complications.


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What is amniocentesis like?

What is amniocentesis like?

Like an ultrasound..: Its like getting an ultrasound of your baby. While doing the ultrasound, the doctor looks for a pocket of amniotic fluid. Under direct visualization with the ultrasound, the needle is inserted into the fluid pocket. Amniotic fluid is withdrawn. The needle is removed. Its usually not more painful than a flu shot. Best wishes. ...Read more

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Can I refuse an amniocentesis?

Can I refuse an amniocentesis?

Yes: No body can do any test on you that you do not feel comfortable with. ...Read more

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How risky is an amniocentesis?

How risky is an amniocentesis?

Has risks: All procedures have risks and benefits. Refer to provider for their risk ratio. ...Read more

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How accurate is amniocentesis?

Very accurate: An amniocentesis samples the fetal dna from amniotic fluid. Because the test is sampling the baby's dna directly the test is extremely accurate. ...Read more

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What is an amniocentesis like?

Not too bad: Amniocentesis at 18-20 weeks feels like a cramping sensation. A little bit of pain, but fleeting. Amniocentesis at term hardly feels painful at all as the uterus is so stretched. ...Read more

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What will amniocentesis be like?

What will amniocentesis be like?

A 'pinch' or 'ouch'?: Typical method: consent is obtained; questions answered. Ultrasound is used to find best location for needle. Iodine is wiped on skin. Ultrasound is placed on abdomen again. Skin may 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. ...Read more

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What is an amniocentesis (amnio)?

What is an amniocentesis (amnio)?

Needling procedure.: Amnioparacentesis in greek (amnio for short) is a prenatal invasive diagnostic genetic procedure devised to glean information from the pregnancy sac with small risk. It is used to determine fetal dna make-up, mutations, anemia, infections, open neural tube or abdominal wall defects. It is typically done 16-22 weeks by maternal-fetal or genetic specialists; complications occur in 1:100-1:1, 000. ...Read more

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What happens during an amniocentesis?

What happens during an amniocentesis?

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. ...Read more

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Why do I need to get an amniocentesis?

Genetic or baby test: Amniocentesis is generally done for 3 different reasons. It is done at 16-18 weeks to test for genetic problems. It may be done in the few weeks before your due date to test for baby lung maturity to see if it is safe for the baby to deliver. It can be done in the middle of pregnancy to test for signs of infection or blood problems in the baby. ...Read more

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What to do if I have an amniocentesis?

Wait for results: I presume you are undergoing amniocentesis for genetic testing. Take it easy for a day or so, your doctor will give you precautions to follow ...Read more

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What are indications for amniocentesis?

Intra uterine diagno: Multiple indications for amniocentesis exist. The most common use of amniocentesis is to diagnose fetal chromosomal anomalies after other tests such as ultrasound or biophysical markers have determined a significant likelihood that the fetus will be affected with a chromosomal problem. Other diagnostic tests performed using amniocentesis are determining fetal lung maturity and evaluating alloimmunization. Amniocentesis can also be used to obtain samples to rule out chorioamnionitis in cases in which the clinical picture is unclear, as well as to deliver intra-amniotic dye in cases in which premature rupture of membranes is suspected.[2, 3, 4, 5]

Therapeutic indications for an amniocentesis may include the direct delivery of medications to the unborn fetus and to release intrauterine pressure in the presence of polyhydramnios. ...Read more

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Is the amniocentesis a risky thing to do?

Depends, but low risk: Amniocentesis done by an expert is low risk. The main risk is rupture of membranes that often is related to the ultra-structure of the membrane in a given pregnancy. The small risk should be matched with desired benefits; expert counseling can put the risk/benefit in perspective. Seek advice from geneticist and maternal fetal medicine specialist. ...Read more

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What should I expect during amniocentesis?

What should I expect during amniocentesis?

Step-by-step amnio: 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. ...Read more

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Where do I go to get an amniocentesis done?

Depends on reason: Amniocentesis is the procedure by which fluid is removed from the amniotic sac. It is done to study chromosomes, perform genetic tests, check lung maturity, etc. In general, it is performed by an obgyn specialist or a maternal-fetal medicine subspecialist in the office or clinic. It might also be performed on labor and delivery or the antepartum ward. Ask the OB provider what is best in your case. ...Read more

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How much fluid do they take for amniocentesis?

How much fluid do they take for amniocentesis?

About 30 cc: About 30 cc of the approximately 300 cc of amniotic fluid present at the usual time of amniocentesis for prenatal diagnosis. The amount removed causes no harm and is rapidly restored from the maternal circulation. ...Read more

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What bad things can come from an amniocentesis?

Amniocentesis: The major complications of an amniocentesis are rupture of membranes, direct fetal injury, indirect fetal injury, infection, and fetal loss. The risk of fetal loss can range from 1 in 300 to 1 in 500. ...Read more

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What can I expect to happen during amniocentesis?

What can I expect to happen during amniocentesis?

Steps for amnio: 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. ...Read more

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Can I make a 3 hour drive after an amniocentesis?

Amniocentesis: Although you would probably be ok to travel after an uneventful, single stick amniocentesis, it is a good idea to rest for 24 hours after this procedure. ...Read more

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Are there any risks to the amniocentesis procedure?

Yes.: As with any procedure, there are risks. Possible complications include direct or indirect fetal injury, rupture of membranes, infection, & miscarriage. Maternal injury and direct injury to the fetus are especially rare. Timing also affects risk-- amniocentesis done before 15 weeks carries a higher risk of complications. Second trimester amniocentesis carries the lowest risk of fetal loss. ...Read more

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When can I find out the gender at my amniocentesis?

Amnio gives gender: If you have an amnio after about 18 weeks, ultrasound may reveal the gender. If not, you will know the gender when you get the results of the amnio. Best wishes! ...Read more

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What is the risk of having the amniocentesis test?

What is the risk of having the amniocentesis test?

Mostly safe: An amniocentesis is usually done for genetic testing. It can lead to infection in the amniotic fluid, rupture of membranes (breaking your water), or induction of labor. If this happens and the pregnancy is very early, a miscarriage occurs. The risk of these things happening is about 1 in 200 to 500. If the amnio is late in pregnancy and any of this happens, baby is delivered. ...Read more

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What is the step by step process of a amniocentesis?

Amniocentesis: After informed consent is obtained., an obstetrical ultrasound examination is performed to determine fetal viability, position, and location of the placenta. The patient's abdomen is prepped and draped. Using the ultrasound, a 22gauge needle is guided to an adequate pocket of fluid. Fifteen to twenty cc of fluid is removed and sent for analysis. Local anesthesia is usually not needed. ...Read more

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Does doing it later reduce the risk of amniocentesis?

Depends why: U are doing it, if u are doing a genetic amnio, it should be done 17-20 weeks, a skilled doc very rarely has a problem, there is more fluid if you do it later, but then if something is not normal and u want a termination it may be too late. ...Read more

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How long does it take to get the results of an amniocentesis?

Days: If you are waiting on chromosomal analysis, it should be final within 2 weeks, usually sooner. Other tests, such as for infection, are within hours. AFP levels are known the next day. ...Read more

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Can a dr make you get an amniocentesis done if you don't want to?

No: Any medical procedure has potential risk to it. No doctor can force you to have something done. We can encourage you and explain why we think something should be done, but not force you. ...Read more

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How do I know if I need medical attention after an amniocentesis?

Bleeding, leaking: Women who experience bleeding or leaking of clear fluid from the vagina after amniocentesis should get immediate attention, as should any woman who has a fever and/or extreme tenderness of the abdomen. ...Read more

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What information do I have to bring along to do the amniocentesis?

Must-have info: Patients should always be asked their blood type when they go for an amniocentesis. It is best to have a copy of that to share. If rh negative, always remind the doctor and nurse before you leave. ...Read more