Amniocentesis is a procedure performed during pregnancy to examine a baby's chromosomes. Most often, an amniocentesis is done between 16-20 weeks of pregnancy.
During this procedure, amniotic fluid, which contains cells that the baby has naturally shed, is removed for testing. Cells and proteins within the amniotic fluid are then examined in the lab to test for specific fetal disorders. Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) is also found in the amniotic fluid and can be measured in the laboratory. The entire amniocentesis appointment lasts approximately 45 minutes— most of which involves a detailed ultrasound examination.
Amniocentesis is generally offered for:
To learn more about amniocentesis and determine if you would benefit from this test, please speak with your obstetrician or contact our office directly.