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Doctor insights on: Preparing For Amniocentesis

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Dr. Monica Popov
334 doctors shared insights

Amniocentesis (Definition)

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 ...Read more


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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

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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 Amniotic fluid is withdrawn.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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