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Amniocentesis: Treatment, Procedure, Cost and Side Effects

What is the treatment? How is the treatment done? Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?) Who is not eligible for the treatment? Are there any side effects? What are the post-treatment guidelines? How long does it take to recover? What is the price of the treatment in India? Are the results of the treatment permanent? What are the alternatives to the treatment?

What is the treatment?

The fetus is surrounded by amniotic fluid during pregnancy, which is a substance much like water. Amniotic fluid is known to carry live fetal cells among other substances present, such as alpha-fetoprotein (AFP). These substances provide significant information about the health of your baby before birth. Amniocentesis can be defines as a prenatal test associated with the removal of a small amount of amniotic fluid from the sac which surrounds the fetus for the purpose of testing.

You might need amniocentesis for the main and most common reason of abnormal prenatal screening. This test helps your doctor in confirming or denying any kind of abnormalities which may have been found during the test. In case you already have had a child with a serious abnormality of the spinal cord (neural tube defect) or brain, or birth defect, this procedure helps by checking and making sure whether your child has the previous mentioned condition. In case you are older than 35 years, your baby is possibly at a higher risk for a chromosomal abnormality called Down syndrome. Amniocentesis diagnoses these abnormalities. In case you or your sexual partner is a carrier of a genetic disorder, like cystic fibrosis, amniocentesis will detect beforehand whether your unborn child suffers with this disorder or not.

How is the treatment done?

A sample of the fluid (less than an ounce) is removed by inserting a fine, long and thin needle into the uterus through the stomach. While the baby is in the womb, this fluid surrounds and protects it. This process takes place under the guidance of an ultrasound in order to find out the exact location of the baby in the uterus. An ultrasound is characterized as a non invasive procedure associated with the usage of high frequency sound waves which creates an image of your unborn baby. The amniotic fluid is sent to the laboratory for further analysis by a laboratory technician thereafter. There are a number of different tests which can be performed on the sample of amniotic fluid. These tests include genetic disorders such as cystic fibrosis, spina bifida, and Down syndrome. This factor depends on the indications and the genetic risk for the test. You won’t be requiring a stay in the hospital as this test is an outpatient procedure.

The test result will help confirm whether to continue with the pregnancy or not. The test result will also let you know whether or not the baby is matured enough to be born. This test is also helpful in determining whether or not you need to deliver early in order to negate any kind of complications.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

Women who are 18 to 20 weeks pregnant are eligible for the test.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

Women before 20th week of pregnancy are not eligible for the procedure as it may harm the unborn baby, drain the amniotic fluid from the body and increase the chances of miscarriage.

Are there any side effects?

The side effects associated with amniocentesis test are a 0.6% of miscarriage rate if done during the second trimester of pregnancy, cramps, vaginal bleeding, leakage of amniotic fluid out of the body, uterine infection, and the transfer of infection to your unborn baby.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

After the procedure of amniocentesis is over, it is best for you to go home and relax for the remaining day. Your doctor will strictly advise you to not exercise, lift anything over 20 pounds (children are included), avoid sexual relations and avoid performing any strenuous activity. You may have to take two acetaminophen (Tylenon) every 4 hours in order to relieve discomfort. After the procedure is complete, you can continue all normal activities a day after, unless directed by your doctor otherwise. Do not rush to your workplace or anywhere else which puts physical strain on you as this might harm the baby after the procedure.

How long does it take to recover?

It just takes a day to return back to normal activities after the procedure of amniocentesis is complete as it is just a test and not a treatment.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

The cost of amniocentesis ranges between Rs. 8,000 to Rs. 12,000.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

The results of the test are permanent. In case the results of the test are normal, your baby doesn’t have a genetic or chromosomal abnormality. Normal results of amniocentesis demonstrate that your baby is likely to be born with a high rate of survival and health. If the result is negative, then it is a matter of risk for you to continue with the pregnancy as your baby may be born abnormal or with a disorder.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

There are various alternatives to amniocenteses. These involve noninvasive prenatal test, integrated screening, first trimester combined screening, and second trimester quad screen.

Popular Questions & Answers

Hi I am 19 months pregnant now. I was asked to take the TORCH test. And I got rubella positive and HSV positive in that. Results.Everything found normal in my TIFFA scan except small bowel grade 1 in abdomen. Again doctor suggested me to take amniocentesis. Please suggest me the best I'm very panic now.

M.B.S.(HOMEO), MD - Homeopathy
Homeopath, Visakhapatnam
The TORCH screen is a group of blood tests that check for several different infections in a newborn. TORCH stands for toxoplasmosis, rubella, cytomegalovirus, herpes simplex, and HIV, but it can also include other newborn infections. Sometimes the...

I'm 15 weeks pregnant. Double marker test revealed that t21 is less than 50: 1. Everybody is suggesting to go for amniocentesis. But is it safe? When should it be done? I contacted a diagnostic centre and they said it should be done on 16th week. But others are saying after 20 weeks. We are concerned about the risk factors. What type of risk does it posses?

MBBS, MS - Obstetrics & Gynecology, Fellowship in Infertility (IVF Specialist)
Gynaecologist, Aurangabad
Hi you should do amniocentesis before 20weeks of gestation. It is safe to do amniocentesis provided that it is done in by safe and trained hands.
1 person found this helpful

My wife is 15 weeks pregnant. Double marker test revealed that t21 is less than 50: 1. We are very anxious. Should we directly go for amniocentesis or there are some other way to be confirmed about down's syndrome?

DNB (Obstetrics and Gynecology), DGO, MBBS, Fellowship in Minimal Access Surgery(FMAS) & Reproductive Medicine
Gynaecologist, Hyderabad
Hello lybrate user I understood your concern and my opinion is that yes you should directly go for amniocentesis if trisomy 21 risk is 1 in 50, there are other non invasive prenatal diagnostic tests available but they are not confirmatory, I hope ...
1 person found this helpful

My wife 3 months pregnant. Double marker test revealed that t21 is 50: 1. Is it dangerous? Doctor advised to go through a amniocentesis with FISH study? Is the test safe? Is there any other way of diagnosis for down syndrome?

MRCOG ( UK) , MS - Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Gynaecologist, Kolkata
Hi lybrate-user the risk of down's syndrome in your case is significant. The next step to confirm whether your child has down's syndrome or not is aminocentesis. Although this test has some risks like miscarriage but in safe hands the risk is quit...
1 person found this helpful

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Content Details
Written By
MS - Obstetrics and Gynaecolog,PG Diploma in IVF & Reproductive Medicine,Advanced Infertility & ART trainin,MBBS,Diploma in Minimal Access Surgery
Gynaecology
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