The Amniotic Fluid (Amniocentesis) Investigation

It may be that your gynaecologist advises you to an amniocentesis (amniocentesis) during their pregnancy. Why is this necessary? Does my child have an anomaly? Here better to understand and allowed to record important information, to the intervention.

What happens if the amniocentesis?
From the amniotic sac (amnion), a sample of amniotic fluid is taken with a puncture in the cells of the babies are.

What is diagnosed?
The amniotic fluid sample the number of child-like chromosomes checks (karyotype), to determine whether one of the following risks exist:
-the risk of an chromosomal abnormality that can cause a sex-linked genetic disease.
-the risk of trisomy 21 (down syndrome: the chromosome No. 21 is not double, but triple in the chromosomes present.)
-the risk of a Hereditary disease
-the risk of an malformation of the central nervous system.

How is the study?
The investigation takes place in a Center for prenatal diagnosis. The doctor removes a small amount of amniotic fluid (10-20 ml approx) with a thin hollow needle through the mother’s abdominal wall. The amniocentesis takes place under ultrasound guidance, to determine the position of the baby and to run the manual movements of the intervention. The study runs relatively quickly and usually does not last longer than 20 minutes.

Questions and information
The doctor tells you all the necessary information in the consultation prior to the procedure and will tell you exactly what happened at the amniocentesis. Do not hesitate to contact all unclear points and fears. The prenatal health professionals are especially trained to talk with the parents.

Is the amniotic fluid puncture painful?
The procedure is virtually painless. The insertion doesn’t hurt anymore than a blood collection. Therefore, also no anesthesia is necessary. The investigation is more impressive than painful!

When will the study be performed?
The amniocentesis is performed by the 14th week of pregnancy until the third trimester if evidence of a possible problem with the fetus. Previously a so-called triple test is performed always only, i.e. a blood analysis, which determines the concentration of certain hormones in the blood. A deviation from the normal amount of the hormone may possibly indicate a Trisomy. The triple test enables a statistical risk assessment, not says but, if your child is healthy or not. This can be determined only in an amniocentesis.

What are the risks?
Amniocentesis is a surgical procedure and thus – like jedeOperation – associated with risks. There is the danger that a miscarriage is raised, even though the statistical risk in reality is relatively low (0.5-1%). It may also happen that the amniotic fluid sample can not be interpreted (for example, because there are traces of blood in the extracted liquid). To prevent the risk of miscarriage, an anti-D immune globulin injection administered the patient preventive one half an hour after the examination. The day after the amniocentesis they should rest in a horizontal position.

When do you recommend an amniocentesis?
All expectant mothers, which is a high-risk pregnancy, is recommended an amniocentesis. These include women over 38, but also family preloaded women (i.e., women who have ever had a down syndrome case or a hereditary disease in the family) because the risk of Trisomy is known increases with increasing age. Attention: The investigation is not applied by all health insurance companies. Before inquire, what costs will be reimbursed.

When I receive the results?
You have to wait about 2 weeks on the results of the investigation.

What happens in case of an anomaly?
It is systematically organised a consultation. Should be a serious anomaly, a therapeutic abortion is offered after consulting with several doctors the parents. If this painful hypothesis should arrive from the whole team of doctors are supported and get professional help.