If you have recently learned you are pregnant, you undoubtedly have many factors to consider over the next several months. What type of delivery do you prefer? Should you be taking additional supplements? Will you breast feed? While you ponder these different aspects of your pregnancy, another topic may be on your mind. Should you have an amniocentesis performed? If you are unsure of the benefits and risks involved with this procedure, it may help to know some facts about amniocentesis.
- Amniocentesis is used to screen for certain birth defects and genetic disorders such as Down syndrome, Sickle cell or muscular dystrophy. It is also the most accurate way to determine the gender of the baby.
- The procedure involves inserting a long, fine needle into the uterus and removing a small amount of amniotic fluid for testing. It is an outpatient procedure that is performed along with an ultrasound.
- Amniocentesis is not mandatory. It is usually recommended if the mother has a family history of birth defects, had an abnormal ultrasound or had a previous child with a birth defect. However, it is the mother’s choice to have the procedure or not.
- There are risks with the procedure; however, complications are rare, with less than 1% resulting in medical issues. Yet it can pose risks to both the mother and baby, even in rare circumstances resulting in a miscarriage. Genetic counseling is usually provided outlining the risks before the procedure is done.
If you are considering having an amniocentesis performed, you will want to find an experienced OB/GYN clinic that specializes in this procedure. They can discuss the benefits, expectations and risks fully before you have the amniocentesis performed.
Posted on behalf of
North Point OB/GYN Associates
1505 Northside Boulevard #3500
Cumming, GA 30041
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