What Can Amniocentesis Tell You?

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As you progress through your pregnancy, you might talk to your OB about screening for different fetal abnormalities and health conditions. This information can help you determine what steps you want to take in your pregnancy.

Amniocentesis is a testing method used during pregnancy, and your OB may recommend it at some point in your pregnancy. It can reveal a lot about fetal development. If you are uncertain what this treatment can tell you, here's what you need to know.

Amniocentesis Can Identify Down Syndrome

One of the most common conditions that amniocentesis can test for is Down syndrome. This chromosomal disorder often leads to developmental delays and medical problems.

Your OB may recommend amniocentesis if other tests suggest your child could have Down syndrome. This can help the doctor make a more accurate prediction.

Amniocentesis Can Identify Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis is a serious genetic disorder that can cause respiratory and digestive problems. Amniocentesis can be used to test for this condition.

If you or your partner has a family history of cystic fibrosis, you may be at a higher risk of having a child with the condition. Your doctor may recommend amniocentesis to help determine if your child has the disorder.

Amniocentesis Can Identify Spina Bifida

Spina bifida is a birth defect that affects the spinal cord. Amniocentesis can be used to test for this condition. Children born with spina bifida may have problems with movement and sensation, so having information about this condition before birth can be helpful.

Amniocentesis Can Determine Lung Health

The lungs are one of the last organs to develop during pregnancy. Amniocentesis can be used to test for lung maturity. This is important because babies born before their lungs are fully developed may have respiratory problems.

Amniocentesis Can Identify a Current Fetal Infection

Amniocentesis can also be used to test for a current infection in the fetus. This is important because some infections can cause serious health problems for the baby. In some cases, amniocentesis can help determine which type of treatment is right for your situation.

Amniocentesis Can Determine Paternity

If there is any question about who the father of the baby is, amniocentesis can be used to test for paternity. This can help determine child support and custody arrangements.

Talk to Your OB About Amniocentesis

Amniocentesis is generally considered to be a safe procedure. However, there is a small risk of complications, such as infection or bleeding.

If you're considering amniocentesis, be sure to talk to your OB about the risks and benefits. Your OB can help you decide if amniocentesis is right for you.

Contact your OB doctor for more information.