Amniocentesis: Examination for Pregnant Women

Amniocentesis: Examination for Pregnant Women

During gestation there are several tests necessary to follow the development of the baby. One such test is amniocentesis.

Amniocentesis: Examination for Pregnant Women

This prenatal examination has the function of detecting congenital malformations, such as Down syndrome.

Amniocentesis is only indicated in some situations and is therefore not necessary in all pregnancies.

Next check when amniocentesis should be performed, in which cases it is indicated and when it should not be done by the pregnant woman.

When should amniocentesis be performed?

Amniocentesis is usually performed after the first trimester, such as nuchal translucency.

This examination is performed between the 11th and the 14th week, during which time it is possible to detect some type of chromosomal anomaly. Thus, amniocentesis should be performed between the 15th and 18th week.

When is amniocentesis indicated?

Amniocentesis is not an examination that all pregnant women have to do, because it may involve some risk for the baby. Thus, amniocentesis is only indicated in the following cases:

  • when the pregnant woman is 35 years or older, since from this age the risk of occurrence of genetic malformations is greater;
  • when it is necessary to evaluate if there is anemia in Rh-sensitized babies (a situation where the maternal organism produces antibodies that act against the blood of the fetus).
  • when in a previous pregnancy there was a case of Down syndrome, which is why the current pregnancy is considered a risk;
  • when the nuchal translucency test gives a positive result or the suspicion that Down syndrome exists;
  • when a decrease in amniotic fluid occurs;
  • in situations where there is a need for a preterm birth, an amniocentesis should be performed to assess and verify that the baby’s lungs are properly developed.

Situations where amniocentesis is contraindicated

There are some cases where amniocentesis is contraindicated, since the risk is too great for the baby. These situations include:

  • when the mother has a preterm birth history;
  • when the pregnant woman has placental problems, such as the placenta previa, total or partial;
  • when the tissue of the cervix is ​​fragile, and there is a great risk of miscarriage or premature delivery.

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