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AMNIO – What is it?

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Most Obstetricians / Gynaecologists recommend that you have an amniocentesis when you about almost 4 months pregnant if you have risk factors. This is recommended to woman over 30 years old, but in some cases, the doctor may recommend this to younger woman. However, having this test is entirely your choice. Before having this test, the doctor will send you for blood tests which can detect up to 60% of babies with Down Syndrome and therefore may help the argument for having the Amnio test.

What is this Amnio test, what can this test detect, why have the test most woman ask?

It helps identify if your unborn baby could have a problem with down syndrome – a specific genetic condition.

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The amniotic fluid which surrounds your baby contains the baby’s cells and is made by the placenta initially, but later in your pregnancy, it is made from the baby’s kidneys; they are collected and then tested. In an aseptic environment, the doctor will use a needle guided by the ultrasound and extract approximately 15 – 20ml of fluid. This is then sent to the laboratory. This procedure is quick and in most cases, the only pain felt is when the needle goes in.

It is important to discuss this with your doctor, firstly the outcome of the test and what will your choices be? There are cases that some woman have had a miscarriage after the test, but thankfully these are rare. Your Obstetrician will be able to quote you percentages of miscarriages following Amnio tests.

This may all seem frightening, but most babies are born healthy; your doctor will continue to monitor your pregnancy with regular appointments and ultrasound.