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Reasons for Procedure
- Age: over 35 years at the time of delivery
- Family history of chromosome abnormality
- Family history of inherited disorder
- Family history of neural tube defect—problems in spine and brain growth, such as spina bifida or anencephaly
- Abnormal results from early screening tests for chromosomal abnormalities
- Chromosome abnormalities. The results are usually ready within 14 days. Missing or extra chromosomes lead to physical birth defects and intellectual disability. Down's syndrome is one example.
- Inherited genetic diseases—Test results are usually ready in 1-5 weeks. Examples include:
- To determine whether the baby's lungs are mature
- In high-risk pregnancies that may require early delivery
- There is concern for Rh-sensitization pregnancy
- Bleeding, cramping, and leaking fluid from the vagina
- Mixing of blood if you and your baby have different blood types
- Need for repeat testing
- Harm to the fetus by the needle—Rare
- Maternal obesity
- Previous abdominal surgery
What to Expect
Description of the Procedure
How Long Will It Take?
Will It Hurt?
Call Your Doctor
- Signs of infection, including fever and chills
- Nausea or vomiting
- Pain or cramping in your lower abdomen or shoulder
- Vaginal bleeding or a loss of fluid from the vagina
- Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or discharge from the amniocentesis site
- New, unexplained symptoms
American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists http://www.acog.org
American Pregnancy Association http://www.americanpregnancy.org
Canadian Women's Health Network http://www.cwhn.ca
The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada http://www.sogc.org
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Invasive Prenatal Testing for Aneuploidy, Practice Bulletin No. 88, December 2007; Reaffirmed 2009.
Chorionic villus sampling (CVS). American Pregnancy Association website. Available at: http://www.americanpregnancy.org/prenataltesting/cvs.html. Updated April 2006. Accessed March 14, 2014.
Later childbearing. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists website. Available at: http://www.acog.org/~/media/For%20Patients/faq060.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20121002T1240392696. Published December 2012. Accessed October 2, 2012.
Screening and monitoring during pregnancy. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated March 3, 2014. Accessed March 14, 2014. Hemolytic disease of the newborn. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated March 6, 2013 Accessed April 30, 2014.
- Reviewer: Andrea Chisholm, MD
- Review Date: 03/2014
- Update Date: 04/29/2014