What is amniocentesis?
To perform an amniocentesis test, amniotic fluid is removed from the uterus with the help of a needle. The cells from the amniotic fluid are examined for a possible chromosomal abnormality. Usually the amniocentesis takes place with a gestational age of about 16 weeks.
The abdominal wall is disinfected before the procedure starts. Via a scan, the correct place is determined for the insertion of the needle through the lower abdomen. Giving a (local) anesthetic is just as painful as inserting the needle with which amniotic fluid is sucked up and is therefore usually not given.
The amount of amniotic fluid that is collected (15-20 milliliters) is about 10 to 15% of the total amount of amniotic fluid. The amount of amniotic fluid is quickly replenished by the body of the mother.
The jab is equally painful, but the pain generally disappears as soon as the needle is inserted far enough. The aspiration of the amniotic fluid usually takes no more than 30 seconds. Sometimes it is not possible to take sufficient amniotic fluid. You can then be pricked at another location. In a single case, the examination is repeated after, for example, a week.
After the amniocentesis there is sometimes a couple of days a pulling feeling (similar to the feeling when you have to have your period). This generally disappears after a few days at most.
There is a small risk that you get a (late) miscarriage as a result of amniocentesis. This chance is about 0.3 percent.
When sufficient amniotic fluid is collected, a reliable result of the chromosome test can almost always be given but will take a while - usually 10-14 days. A second test will then be done to confirm.
Advantages and disadvantages of amniocentesis
The amniocentesis is somewhat more reliable than the chorionic test and gives a slightly smaller chance of miscarriage. A disadvantage is that the examination takes place late in the pregnancy (16 weeks). Moreover, the results take longer than that of a chorionic test. Additionally, the pregnancy is often already visible, or you have already told people that you are pregnant. In case of termination of pregnancy, questions are often inevitable.
Also see these information articles: · Tests during pregnancy · Anemia · Antibodies · Chorionic testing · Combination test · Group B Streptococcus · Hemoglobin · Neural tube defect · NIPT test · Triple test · Umbilical cord