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Amniocentesis

 
 
     
 
 

 
 
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Keywords

Amniocentesis, amniotic fluid, amniotic sac, placenta, pregnancy, genetic diseases, Down Syndrome, trisomy 18, trisomy 21, Chorionic villus sampling, CVS, alpha-fetoprotein, human chorionic gonadotropin, estriol, genetic amniocentesis, fetus

Overview *

Amniocentesis is a medical test done, usually after the 14th week of pregnancy, to detect genetic defects in the fetus. The procedure takes about 20 minutes, and is performed as an 'outpatient' procedure at a hospital or doctor's office. A needle is inserted through the wall of the woman's abdomen, and a small sample of the amniotic fluid surrounding the fetus is extracted. This sample is cultured in a lab to determine if there are any genetic abnormalities or infection present. Amniocentesis is often recommended for pregnant women over the age of 35 as the risk for genetic abnormalities in the fetus becomes greater after that age. Although no medical procedure is completely without risk, amniocentesis is considered to be safe (with a 0.5% risk of miscarriage as a result of the procedure) and can provide valuable information to assist you with decision-making about your pregnancy, and guide the doctor's care plan.

 
 

In-Depth

Introduction | Pregnancy
Indications | Alternatives
Procedure | After the Test
Risks | Results
Conclusion

 
 

Multimedia

This patient education program explains amniocentesis. It discusses the indications, alternative tests, procedure, benefits and risks and what to expect afterward.

This button allows you to read and print an illustrated handout This button starts a multimedia program with interactive questions

This button allows you to read and print an illustrated handout

This button starts a multimedia program with interactive questions

This button allows you to read and print an illustrated handout.

This button starts a multimedia program with interactive questions.

   
This button starts an interactive quiz This button plays a self-running presentation

This button starts an interactive quiz

This button plays a self-running presentation

This button starts an interactive quiz.


This button plays a self-running presentation.


Last reviewed: 3/11/2008

 
     
 

.Selected topic overviews were adapted from Medlineplus, the National Library of Medicine *

 
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