Amniocentesis is a procedure in which amniotic fluid (that surrounds the baby and contains the fetal cells and proteins) sample is removed from the uterus for testing or treatment purpose.

It helps diagnosing the birth defects and may carry rare but possible risks. 

  1. Fluid drains through the vagina later but usually pregnancy proceeds normally

  2. Miscarriage 

  3. Needle Injury 

  4. Rh sensitization (baby's blood cells enter the mother's bloodstream)

  5. Uterine Infection 

  6. Infection Transmission- Hepatitis, HIV/AIDS 


  1. Genetic testing for certain conditions e.g. Down’s syndrome

  2. Fetal lung testing if Caesarean birth mode being considered

  3. Diagnosing fetal infections or illnesses

  4. To resolve too much amniotic fluid accumulated during pregnancy 

  5. Paternity testing

  6. Confirmation of  the positive results from worrisome prenatal screenings

  7. Mother’s age being 35 or older 


  • amniocentesis is often done in an OPD procedure
  • amniocentesis before 20 week pregnancy requires bladder full 
  • amniocentesis after  20 week pregnancy requires bladder empty 
  • anesthetic isn't used generally. women may feel only a mild discomfort 
  • doctor will ultrasound to determine baby's exact location 
  • patient lies on back on an exam table while gynae applies a gel to abdomen
  • doctor uses an ultrasound transducer to capture baby position on monitor screen
  • later the abdomen is cleaned up with an antiseptic
  • with the help of ultrasound the doctor inserts a thin, hollow needle through the abdominal wall and further into uterus
  • withdraws a small amount of amniotic fluid into a syringe depending on the number of weeks pregnancy has progressed into 
  • needle is removed. total time the needle is in is less than 1 minute.
  • monitor placed on women’s stomach stays there for 15-30 minutes and records baby  heartbeats
  • the results are available in app 2 weeks


The doctor may continue using the ultrasound to monitor baby's heart rate. Women may resume normal activities after the procedure except strenuous exercises and sex for a day or two.

Inform the doctor, in case : 

  • loss of or vaginal bleeding or loss of amniotic fluid through vagina
  • severe uterine cramps  
  • fever
  • redness and inflammation where the needle was inserted
  • unusual fetal activity or a lack of fetal activity

After the test, it is recommended for women to take adequate rest, drink  plenty of liquids. The doctors might discourage this test it if the patient  has any infection - HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B or C.

Share Article

Download The App

Back to Top
error: Content is protected !!