Tags: amniocentesis | risks | test | pregnancy

What Are the Risks of Amniocentesis?

Tuesday, 08 April 2014 11:58 PM

Amniocentesis is a common diagnostic test during pregnancy that takes a little amniotic fluid from the sac surrounding the fetus for checking possible chances of birth defects. The test is advisable especially if the parents have any genetic disorders. The test of amniocentesis is usually conducted between the 14th and 20th weeks of a pregnancy. A few risks of this test should be understood.

Amniocentesis Procedure

Amniocentesis is performed for detecting chromosomal abnormality and gender of the fetus. This is recommended for women between the 14th and 20th weeks of pregnancy, especially if there are increased risks caused by a family history or predisposition of any kind of genetic disorders like sickle cell anemia or cystic fibrosis. The test can also rule out risks of the fetus having Down syndrome, Edwards syndrome, Patau syndrome, and any form of chromosomal disorders.
A little amniotic fluid surrounding the fetus in the womb is extracted for use in diagnosis. The fluid is collected via a needle in less than five minutes and the total procedure might need 45 minutes. The cells from the womb and fetus are sent to laboratory for testing, with results available in a few days. Results for some defects may need a couple of weeks for processing.

Amniocentesis: What Are the Risks?

As amniocentesis is an invasive procedure undergone during pregnancy, there is risk associated with it. The risk may be mild or as severe as a risk of miscarriage or termination of the pregnancy. Let us briefly consider the main risks involved with this diagnostic procedure.
  • Risks of miscarriage following the test: One in 100 women risk a miscarriage during their pregnancy while undergoing the test of amniocentesis. The risk of miscarriage can occur during the needle insertion, due to infection in the uterus or the uterus, which may cause water breakage or premature delivery.
  • Risks of transmission of infections: If the mother has infections such as HIV or hepatitis C, there is increased risk of the infection being transferred to the baby during the test procedure of amniocentesis during a pregnancy.
  • Risks of fluid leakage: During and after this test procedure is conducted in a pregnancy, women may have a fluid leakage with amniotic fluid leaking through the vagina. However, with a 1 percent probability, this is a rare risk associated with the test.
  • Risks of injury to the fetus: There are risks of injury to the fetus from the needle inserted. Usually, safety precautions must be taken, and the tests should be performed with a sonogram for precisely guiding the needle to reduce this risk.
  • Other risks/side effects: Women undergoing the test process during their pregnancy may feel pain despite anesthetics when the needle is injected via the abdominal skin into the uterus. Some side effects include irritation in the insertion area or cramping.
It is advisable to seek expert advice, do sensible research, and undergo amniocentesis during the 14th to 20th weeks of pregnancy if either partner has any genetic disorder or needs to ensure that the fetus is not suffering from any chromosomal or other abnormalities.

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Amniocentesis is prenatal test performed during pregnancy for checking chances of birth defects in the fetus. This test involves extracting a little amniotic fluid that surrounds the fetus. This fluid is removed for testing. Let us examine the side effects or risks of amniocentesis.
Tuesday, 08 April 2014 11:58 PM
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