Two words that can instantly ruin your mood are “test” or “procedure” when you are pregnant. And like every pregnant woman, Dhara went through the same. What helped her remain calm during those times is learning why doctors recommended those tests and how they would be performed.
So, here is sharing the details of Amniocentesis; why it is suggested, how it is carried out, and how you can prepare in advance to not get stressed by this big word.
What is Amniocentesis?
The amniotic fluid that surrounds the fetus in a pregnant woman can now be tested for disorders. This procedure called amniocentesis is done by taking out some of this clear liquid to determine if there are problems with your baby’s health or development level at hand!
Amniocentesis is a screening test you may be offered during pregnancy to check if your baby has Down’s syndrome, Edwards’ Syndrome, or Patau’s Syndrome.
Why is Amniocentesis recommended?
If you have a prenatal screening test that shows an indication of abnormalities, to find out what those findings mean, amniocentesis may be the only way. In addition, Amniocentesis will help your doctor confirm or deny anything wrong with either yourself or the baby in this pregnancy!
If you are expecting a baby, and you or your partner is known to be a carrier of genetic disorders such as cystic fibrosis. In that case, amniocentesis can detect whether or not their unborn child has these same disabilities.
If you are pregnant at 35 years or older, your baby is at an increased risk for chromosomal abnormalities. Amniocentesis can identify these changes and help prevent any future problems with pregnancy outcomes!
Amniocentesis is used to test for a variety of conditions, including infection and anemia. Your doctor may recommend this procedure if they suspect that your unborn child has one or more diseases.
A maturity amniocentesis is used to test the maturity of your baby’s lungs. It can determine if this will allow for survival outside of the womb, making it essential during pregnancy when complications might require an early delivery, and delivering prematurely puts you at risk! While it is not necessary, the procedure can also be done to decrease your amniotic fluid.
How to prepare for an Amniocentesis?
Amniocentesis is not always 100% safe, so it is best to drink plenty of fluids before your appointment. If you are experiencing any discomfort or have had a difficult pregnancy in general, then contact your doctor immediately.
They may need to use some local anesthesia, which puts them at risk of puncture wounds if there is no urine inside the bladder due to its size-changing during week 20 of the pregnancies.
Before you have a procedure done, your health care provider will explain the details and ask for consent. Consider asking someone in attendance to accompany or drive home after for emotional support because it can be an invasive experience.
It may cause anxiety symptoms not just from what is happening during treatment but also afterward, depending on how things go with recovery!
What do the test results mean?
If the results of amniocentesis are normal, then there is no need to worry. Your baby most likely does not have genetic or chromosomal abnormalities!
In the case of a normal result from a maturity amniocentesis, there is a high likelihood your baby will survive and be born.
Please take note that not all abnormal results indicate a genetic problem or chromosomal abnormality. Therefore, additional diagnostic tests may be needed for the doctor to get more information about your situation and what you should do next with it.
Do not hesitate to ask your healthcare provider for help if you are unsure how the results will affect your lifestyle. You can also get important information in deciding the next steps by talking with them.
What are the risks of Amniocentesis?
Be fully informed about the possible complications and risks before deciding to have an amniocentesis. One of the potential risks with amniocentesis is a miscarriage, which is estimated to occur in about 1 out of 100 women. This means it is crucial that you know your options and make an informed decision for yourself and those close to you.
The risk of amniocentesis complications is higher if you have the procedure done before the 15th week. This is because so many things can go wrong with an earlier pregnancy, and not just testing DNA in the uterus at any point during development would be one example.
Luckily for Dhara, the tests were normal, and the after-effects faded just within a few days. But if you are scared about getting amniocentesis, you can always look for safer alternatives. Consult with your doctor before making any decision you make and you will always be safe.