Maturity Amniocentesis

A maturity amniocentesis is the same as the genetic test except your baby’s lungs are being tested for maturity for an early delivery. During this procedure, your doctor will analyze the compounds found in your baby’s lung to see if he is ready to breathe air. This test is usually done when preterm labor is expected or recommended. The results of this test are usually ready within hours.

Risks of Amniocentesis

Amniocentesis performed after the 15th week carries a one in 200 rate of miscarriage. The earlier in your pregnancy the test is performed, the greater the risk of miscarriage. If the test is performed before the 15th week, there is a one in 100 risk of miscarriage. Usually a genetic amniocentesis is performed in the second trimester after the fetal membranes have sufficiently fused together. At this point, the test presents less of a risk to your baby.

Pros of Amniocentesis

Amniocentesis can offer some benefits to women considering this test.

  • Safe and simple procedure
  • Performed on millions of women since 1882
  • Can be performed in the doctor’s office
  • Complications are uncommon
  • With genetic counseling, you are well-equipped to make decisions about your baby 

Cons of Amniocentesis

Despite the advantages, there are a number of drawbacks to amniocentesis.

  • Is considered to be an invasive procedure
  • Amniotic fluid leaking through the vagina can increase the risk of orthopedic problems for your baby
  • Amniocentesis could cause your baby’s blood to mix with your blood. If your blood types do not match, you will be given the drug Rh immunoglobulin so you do not generate antibodies against your baby’s blood cells.
  • During the procedure, your baby may move into the path of the needle and be injured.
  • You could suffer a hemorrhage if your placenta or umbilical cord is punctured.
  • If the doctor did not obtain sufficient amniotic fluid, she may have to conduct the procedure again 

Amniocentesis is not a mandatory prenatal test. If it is offered to you, discuss all of the pros and cons with your health care provider as well as your partner to make the choice that is right for you.


Table of Contents
1. Is amniocentesis for you?
2. Is amniocentesis risky?
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