Friday, August 27, 2010

Amniocentesis is a common prenatal test in which a small sample of the amniotic fluid surrounding a pregnant womans fetus is removed and examined. Dr. Edward Hill tells more about the testing in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Amniocentesis is a test to analyze the amniotic fluid that surrounds a pregnant womans baby. Amniotic fluid contains cells and other substances that can give clues about the baby. Amniocentesis can be done after the 14th week of pregnancy.

Amniocentesis is performed for women whose pregnancies may be high-risk, including women over 35 years old, diabetics and those who have had other children with genetic problems.

The amniotic fluid can be tested for more than 100 types of defects that are associated with inherited diseases, such as Down syndrome, cystic fibrosis or neural tube defects.

Amniocentesis in early pregnancy is not done as a general screening test for birth defects because it carries some risk to your baby and cannot detect all birth defects. There is a slight chance, about one in 200, that amniocentesis may cause a miscarriage.

If a woman has a history of premature labor or pregnancy problems an amniocentesis may not be done because of increased risk for complications.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.