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What is amniocentesis?

Amniocentesis is a procedure that tests whether your baby’s genetics are normal or abnormal. Your physician can help you understand the meaning of your specific test results, how the condition may be treated either during or after pregnancy and the special needs your child may have after birth.

Describe the procedure:

During amniocentesis, your doctor will use ultrasound to guide a very thin needle through your abdomen and uterus and into the placenta to obtain a small amount of fluid from around the fetus for testing.

Who is a good candidate for amniocentesis?

If abnormal findings are noted on your ultrasound evaluation, you may be offered an amniocentesis. Also, women over the age of 35 are typically offered chromosome analysis of amniotic fluid. Some people (both women and men) are at greater risk for passing on genetic disorders to their children. Both age and genetic history of both parents can have roles determining a need for amniocentesis. There are newer alternatives for amniocentesis, depending upon your situation. Ask your physician for additional information.