Amniocentesis. What is it and when is it applied?

Amniocentesis is a test to diagnose whether there is a risk that the baby could have an inherited disease or chromosomal disease. It consists of accessing the interior of the amniotic bag from the abdomen with the help of a long, fine needle. To obtain a sample of the amniotic fluid.

Amniotic fluid is what surrounds the baby within the placenta and contains cells and chemicals produced by the fetus. Which will be used to evaluate if there is any fetal disorder. The extracted fluid is sent to the laboratory for analysis and can be decisive in diagnosing or ruling out some abnormalities that the baby is suspected of having. Such as Down syndrome, Edwards, Patau, hereditary diseases, cystic fibrosis, cleft lip, malformations, fetal infections or even abortions.

Since it is a technique that carries some risk, it is only performed on pregnant women in whom there is a well-founded suspicion that the result could be positive.

  • Having another child or immediate family member with a chromosome disease.

  • Have received a high-risk result on the screening or ultrasound that is performed on all women in the first trimester.

  • Be over 35 years of age.


This test is done only after 16 weeks of pregnancy to avoid all the risks involved. Of course, this will be determined by your obstetrician. The test takes 15-20 days for the results to be ready, so be patient. After the test it is important that when you get home you take complete rest. Refrain from having sex for 48 hours.

You should go to the emergency room if you have a fever, abdominal pain or vaginal bleeding. And remember to follow the instructions that your doctor gives you to the letter.


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