What is amniocentesis?

Amniocentesis is a test that is performed during pregnancy to certain women that is the removal of amniotic fluid in order to be analyzed and detecting possible chromosomal abnormalities that cause diseases related to the sex of the baby, the risk of trisomy 21, hereditary illnesses or malformations of the nervous system.


In the test that does not last more than 20 minutes, the doctor removes amniotic fluid using a fine needle inserted into the womb to perform an ultrasound that enables to direct the needle towards the more distant area to the baby. It is a painless test that does not require given anesthesia.

The amniocentesis is done between 16 to 20 weeks of pregnancy when there may be signs of fetal problems or risk factors such as maternal age (over 35 years), family history or blood tests detected suspicious results.

The amniocentesis carries a risk of abortion but in a very low percentage, something like 0.5% of cases so complete rest is recommended within 48 hours after completion of the test.

The results of the amniocentesis take 3 to 4 weeks.