Should I have amniocentesis?
Real Mom Problem
“We are very unsure what to do because of the risks associated with an amnio. Any info or advice would be appreciated. I've been researching online like crazy but nothing seems concise or clear to me right now!”
- 1. Amniocentesis is a test performed in the second trimester where some amniotic fluid is removed to test for genetic disorders and other abnormalities
- 2. Some moms choose to get an amnio if earlier tests point to a possible genetic disorder, or if a mom's age puts her in a "high risk" category
- 3. Many moms decline to get an amnio because there is a small risk of miscarriage associated with the procedure
- 4. Always discuss your options with your doctor
Real Mom Solutions
Are you considering getting amniocentesis? If earlier prenatal testing pointed to a possible genetic disorder, your doctor may recommend testing your amniotic fluid. Read what the moms of CafeMom have chosen to help you make an informed choice about getting an amnio.
It's Not Worth the Risk
I have a child with severe special needs. He has been stared at. Kids at the park ask questions. He's had massive surgeries, and it's all hard! And it's also the most wonderful thing that has ever happened to me--I mean that from the bottom of my heart! I can't even imagine who I would be today or who my other children would be. He is the light of my life, and has forced us all to appreciate the small things in life and to live in the moment and to laugh about everything. I'm not saying it's not hard, or that I haven't grieved or cried myself to sleep, just that it's so worth it! He had an amnio and it said he was "perfect" (which of course in my eyes, he is!), we refused any testing on our younger children because after him, we knew it just didn't matter.
My first pregnancy they told me there was a 75% chance our baby would have Down syndrome. They scheduled an amnio, but told me chances were I would miscarry because my fluids were extremely low to begin with. We opted not to do the amnio fluid testing and told the doctor and found a different doctor They did ultrasounds quite often throughout the pregnancy. I researched some more, and discovered not only does the test have a 97% percent FALSE POSITIVE, but with the ultrasounds they do measurements and can tell by the neck and the skull size if a baby is going to have Down syndrome.
I don't know your circumstance, but it is not worth the risk of miscarriage for me. Whatever condition they picked up on an ultrasound, and they may think my kid may have, will just have to wait to be addressed after they are born. There is also no condition I would abort over, so it would really be pointless for us.
I didn't get one with either child. My doctor told me that he offered it because he has to BUT his wife never had one with any of their children and that the error rate is extremely high. Most issues, he would be able to see during the 20-week ultrasound. I've seen many women who have been told that their child will have Down syndrome or other genetic issues and the children come out 100% fine.
If you are going to keep the baby regardless, skip the amnio. It won't help or settle your mind. I skipped all those tests just because I get what I get. Worry is a bigger risk to your baby than inconclusive tests.
The Benefits Outweigh Any Concerns
I got one. I'm 41 and my husband has a mild case of spina bifida. Thankfully everything came out ok. I never questioned whether I should get one.
I have had two amnios, with my twins and with this baby. It is worth the slight risk, because it would impact my choices. It isn't very painful. Just be careful the next two days, no heavy lifting or quick movements. I always wanted an amino opposed to CVS because it will also catch neural tube defects. It is a big needle, but it isn't really that bad. Waiting for the results really is the worst part.
I am afraid of having an amnio, but I will be 41 when this baby comes and it may be better to be prepared for worst case scenarios than to enjoy the remainder of my pregnancy and have something bad happen and not be prepared.
I didn't get an amnio with my first baby because I was so young and healthy they didn't feel it necessary. I ended up having a little girl with Down syndrome. I had the first trimester screening with this baby, and it was a low risk so I passed again on the amnio. If it had been elevated I would have done the amnio. I would like to know ahead of time, not because I would terminate, but just so I could be prepared, because sometimes (living proof here) the baby can come out with health problems that were not detected.
It Depends on the Reason
I would get an amnio if I was of advanced maternal age, had a history of genetic disorders, or if it was otherwise medically necessary to help further the success of my pregnancy. Don't feel bad for getting one. We all have our own reasons for how and why we handle our pregnancies. I, for one, like to make informed decisions and have an understanding about what I'm facing.
My doctor and geneticist recommended one for me because my baby is at risk for beta-sickle disease which is a variant of sickle cell disease. My question was this: Is the outcome going to change anything at delivery or anything immediately after delivery? If not, then I'm not doing it unless you strongly recommend it. They said it didn't so I decided against it. To me, it depends on the circumstances. If it doesn't change anything that would happen in the delivery room or shortly after then I would strongly rethink it.