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All You Need To Know About Amniocentesis

What is Amniocentesis ?

Amniocentesis is a procedure done in an expecting mother. It is a technique which involves withdrawing about 20 - 25 ml of amniotic fluid from the uterine cavity using a needle through the mother’s stomach and under continuous ultrasound guidance Amniotic fluid is the fluid that surrounds the growing fetus protecting it from injuries, infections and helps to regulate the baby s temperature and also allows it to move and develop properly Apart from this, the amniotic fluid contains the cells shed from the baby providing genetic information of the baby. On extracting these cells and examining them we can tell the genetic make up of the baby When is the right time to perform the procedure? Between 16- 20 weeks is the right time to perform amniocentesis. It is done as an outpatient procedure in the ultrasound room. No admission to hospital is required. Patient will be sent home after a 2 hr period of observation When is amniocentesis advised?

Amniocentesis is advised when the baby is suspected to have chromosomal abnormalities or single gene disorders or to know if the fetus is effected with any other genetic diseases running in the family. It is also done to confirm if the fetus is infected with certain viral infections What are the risks of the procedure? Performed by an experienced person the risk to the pregnancy or the mother is very rare and almost nil However it is worth mentioning that the procedure has a risk of fetal loss of approximately 0.1% 1 in 1000 chances) when performed in the second trimester, after the amniotic membrane has fused with the chorion; there is also a risk of amniotic fluid leakage (approximately 0.3% of cases) What are the Pre and post procedure precautions to be taken? Prior to the procedure You need to inform your doctor if you are of negative blood group. You also need to inform if you have been infected with any chronic viral infections like (HIV/HBSAG/HCV) or has any history of recent fever of flu like symptoms. It is also advised to inform your doctor if you have been infected with COVID in the recent past or if you are on drugs like ASPIRIN or HEPARIN injections Also inform your doctor if you had bleeding per vagina in the past 2 weeks Post procedure

It is advised to take completed bed rest for 48 hrs post procedure and to avoid traveling or workouts or any other strenous activities in the next 7 days Seek immediate medical attention when the following symptoms are experienced after amniocentesis Severe stomach pain Bleeding or leaking from vagina Fever Vomitings Blood in the urine Redness or severe pain at the site of injection


Consultant - Obstetrics and Gynecology

Rainbow Children’s Hospital & BirthRigh, Banjara Hills.