Becoming pregnant is an exciting and unexpectedly scary time. While you are excited about the prospect of bringing a new child into the world, you may also be concerned about the baby’s health and many other factors. Once you find out you are pregnant, your OB/GYN may suggest that you consider having Amniocentesis performed. While not all expectant mothers have this testing done, many choose to undergo the procedure to learn more about the health of their baby.
What Is Amniocentesis?
Amniocentesis or amniotic fluid testing (AFT) is used to determine whether your child has certain health problems or genetic disorders that can be identified through the chromosomes in the amniotic fluid. The procedure is usually performed in the first trimester of pregnancy between the 15th and 20th week. This test can be used to identify if your child has Downs syndrome, cystic fibrosis, trisomy 13, Tay-Sachs disease and hundreds of other diseases.
The test is performed by inserting a long needle into the uterus through the amniotic wall, removing a sample of the fluid surrounding the baby. It is a safe procedure that rarely has any complications, although there is a very small chance of miscarriage. However, if there are risk factors present that a child may have certain disorders, many expectant mothers want to know if their child is healthy. There are some disorders that can be treated while the child is in the womb, which AFT can identify.
Having amniocentesis performed is a personal choice that you will have to make based on your own beliefs, preferences and risk factors. Talk to your OB/GYN about the advantages of this testing to decide if it is right for you and your baby.
Posted on behalf of
North Point OB/GYN Associates
1505 Northside Boulevard #3500
Cumming, GA 30041