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Amniocentesis Procedure: Should I Have it Done?

By Edited Mar 13, 2016 0 0

Amniocentesis: How safe can this Procedure Be?

Amniocentesis is one type of procedure given to pregnant women to diagnose birth defects or some other genetic traits. If there is a reason why your doctor thinks you should undergo this procedure, he or she can advise you to have it done. It is ultimately your decision whether you want to go through with an amniocentesis.  Women who want to keep their babies regardless of any handicapp or deformities, often choose not to be bothered with such procedures.  For the women who do, they often worry about the the risks to their unborn child. A lot of people are worried that it might be risky for the baby, because with each procedure there is a risk of miscarriage as well as a host of other problems. The procedure is usually suggested for pregnant women over 35 or women with a history of genetic deformities in thier blood line.

When a woman becomes pregnant, she hopes and expects that her baby will grow healthy inside her womb. The baby starts from a cell into a zygote and eventually

grows into a fetus. As the baby is growing, it is rested inside the uterus encased in amniotic fluid. This type of fluid actually contains the cells of the baby. These cells will be positioning themselves as they will eventually end becoming an integral part of the baby's genetic makeup. The amniocentesis procedure takes the amniotic fluid surrounding the baby and examines it for birth defects.

In this procedure, the pregnant woman will be given local anesthetic. The abdomen will also be swabbed with an antiseptic. A syringe attached with a needle will be inserted through the abdominal wall and into the uterus by the doctor. This will obtain a small amount of fluid that is needed for the test. This obtained fluid has fetal cells and will be examined.

Results that can be obtained through Amniocentesis

Nobody is safe from genetic abnormalities that can occur during pregnancy. There are so many things that can happen in pregnancy that can be based on the genetic history of the parents or even other relatives that can affect more than just simple eye color, hair type or skin shade. Unborn babies can be affected by conditions like Down’s syndrome, Trisomy 13, spina bifida, RH compatibility issues, infections and a host of other problems. To diagnose these even before child birth, amniocentesis is usually recommended.

Those parents who have undergone genetic testing in the past and have been found certain genes with genetic disorders are usually the ones who are more concerned about the condition of their baby. The process of amniocentesis can help these parents know if their baby is safe and normal inside the mother’s womb. Another problem that can be diagnosed through amniocentesis is the reason why a woman has repeated miscarriages. There could be some genetic problems with the woman that may cause here to be predisposed to miscarrying. Some women who discover their child may have some sort of deformity, many choose to put the child up for adoption or start abortion procedures.


All procedures have risks and threats at stake. With the case of amniocentesis, this is performed during the early months of pregnancy, around the 20th week. Some doubt the types of cells that are obtained in the sample. Some say that it is not healthy for the growing baby that cells are removed which are important for the development of the different parts of the body. However experts say that this very rarely happens. The doctors who are doing this procedure are guided with an ultrasound especially when they are inserting the needle and getting a small amount of fluid.

Amniocentesis can give expectant parents peace of mind once they have overcome all the risks associated with the procedure. The peace of mind comes from knowing their child will not have certain birth defects, which if they decide to keep the child, could mean a greater financial and emotional burden.  Aside from peace of mind, parents can also be informed if there are problems about the baby’s condition that needs to be addressed right away. Some parents believed that the process of amniocentesis can actually give them more benefits against the slight risks associated with this procedure. While others believe that even the slightest risk to their baby is enough to pass on the procedure. Ultimately, it's up to you to decide whether the risks outweigh the benefits.

Amnio Procedure
Credit: news.sciencemag.org


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