At one amniocentesis some amniotic fluid is extracted from your uterus to investigate this for chromosome aberrations. This way it can be investigated whether your child has congenital abnormalities or perhaps Down's syndrome. An amniocentesis is a very reliable test, but unfortunately not entirely without risks. Knowing more? You read it in this blog.
What is amniocentesis?
An amniocentesis is performed to investigate whether your child has congenital abnormalities (such as an open spine) or chromosome abnormalities. For example, a chromosomal abnormality may mean that your child has Down Syndrome or Edward Syndrome.
During this research, approximately 15 to 20 milliliters of amniotic fluid is collected. This amniotic fluid contains body cells and proteins of your baby. On the basis of these body cells and proteins it can be determined whether there are certain deviations.
The puncture is performed must be a hollow needle. This needle is inserted through the abdominal wall and with an ultrasound is examined what the right place is so that your child is not damaged. The pricking can be painful for a moment, but fortunately sucking the amniotic fluid is painless.
The treatment is performed by a gynecologist in the hospital and usually takes 20 minutes. You may suffer from a taut feeling or menstruation-like pain for 1 to 2 days after treatment.
When is amniocentesis performed?
There are several reasons why the gynecologist decides to perform an amniotic puncture:
- When the combination test or the NIPT has a different result.
- If there is an open back.
- Because there is too much amniotic fluid in the uterus.
- If there are suspicions of a possible abnormality later in the pregnancy.
Fruit water puncture risk
An amniocentesis is not entirely without risk. The chance is very small, but it can lead to:
- Loss of blood or amniotic fluid. In almost all cases the amniotic fluid is automatically replenished.
- An infection can occur.
- Or your contractions can be resurrected.
Amniotic puncture and miscarriage
The risk of miscarriage due to an amniotic fluid puncture is 0.3%. This means that of the 300 women who have a puncture done, 1 gets a miscarriage. Compared to a chorionic test, the risk of miscarriage is lower.
The amniotic fluid taken away from you is put on the breeding ground. Then a certain breeding period has to pass. The result is known after about 3 weeks. The result of amniocentesis is very reliable, it is even the most reliable test to make a diagnosis.
In some cases it may be that too little amniotic fluid has been taken to be able to test it properly. In that case you can undergo an amniocentesis again.
Amniotic puncture or chorionic villus test?
An amniocentesis is the most reliable way to investigate whether and which abnormalities your baby has. Nevertheless, there are a few drawbacks to this test. For example, amniocentesis can only be performed from the 15th or the 16th week of the pregnancy. A chorionic test can be performed from 11 weeks, a NIPT from 10 weeks. In addition, it takes about 2 to 3 weeks for a puncture before the result is known.
A chorionic test can be performed earlier so that your mother is less susceptible to stress. The disadvantage of a chorionic test, however, is that the risk of miscarriage is slightly higher than for amniocentesis. The chance of a miscarriage in a chorionic test is 0.5%. If the result of the chorionic test is abnormal, it is possible that an amniocentesis should still be performed in order to obtain more certainty.
Nowadays you can perform a NIPT instead of a chorionic test. This is a blood test in which the risk of a miscarriage is 0%. If the test shows nothing abnormal, 99% certainty can be said that there are no deviations. Is there a deviation found at the NIPT, then there is a chance that you still have to undergo a puncture to get more certainty.
In most cases the amniocentesis will only be reimbursed if there has emerged during the results that something abnormal has been detected with your baby. If the tests have not been able to detect anything, it will not be reimbursed or will be deducted from your own contribution. This can differ per health insurer, so always check what your insurer reimburses.