During pregnancy, the baby is in a vagina filled with water in the womb. Most of this water, called amniotic fluid, consists of the urine of the baby. Therefore, there is a large amount of cells belonging to the baby that continues to develop in the amniotic fluid. Amniocentesis, which is one of the interventional diagnostic procedures is the process of genetic evaluation of the baby by taking an example from the amniotic fluid in the womb and the fetus. The baby cells in the fluid taken are reproduced in the laboratory for 18 to 20 days in the culture medium. Then these cells collected from the culture medium are separated into chromosomes and chromosome analysis is done under a microscope.
What is Amniocentesis?
Amniocentesis definition is very important. Amniocentesis, which is one of the tests performed during pregnancy is the process of sampling from amniotic fluid surrounding the baby in the womb. The baby continues its development in a vagina filled with fluid in the uterus throughout the entire period of pregnancy. The baby inside this pouch which is defined as amniotic sac is covered with liquid. This fluid, defined as amniotic fluid, does not have a stable and unchanging structure. On the contrary, it performs production, absorption and change continuously. The main factor that plays a role in the formation of fluid is the urine of the fetus. This fluid, which contains skin cells as well as the cells of the baby’s respiratory, digestive and excretory system, has the same genetic structure as the baby’s cells.
Thanks to the small amount of fluid taken with an amniocentesis needle accompanied by ultrasound, the baby is examined for many genetic diseases before birth. Those who have amniocentesis have detailed information about whether their babies have a genetic disease. 15 to 20 ml of this liquid in the sachet containing harmless to the baby, accompanied by ultrasound. Amniocentesis process is completed by taking up to. The baby cells in the amniotic fluid taken are reproduced in the culture medium in the laboratory and then genetic analysis is performed. Thus, the presence of the baby’s genetic problem is investigated. The question of how many weeks amniocentesis is performed can be answered between 16 and 22 weeks after the last menstrual date of the expectant mother. Thanks to this test, which allows the application of genetic tests for the baby during pregnancy, the baby is examined for specific genetic and chromosomal diseases. The result of amniocentesis is taken in the third week after the procedure.
How is Amniocentesis Performed?
Before the amniocentesis procedure between 16 and 22 weeks of pregnancy, the mother-to-be is examined in detail. With the help of ultrasound, the position and position of the baby is examined. After the mother’s abdomen is sterilized against the risk of infection, it is entered into the sac containing the fetus with a thin needle, without applying any type of anesthesia and 15 to 20 ml of amniotic fluid. Even though this light cream, white or transparent liquid is sometimes stained with the blood of the expectant mother, this does not harm the baby. After the procedure accompanied by ultrasound, before the needle is pulled, the baby’s position is checked once again with the ultrasound and the needle is removed.
All this process does not cause pain and pain. Since the procedure is performed with a single needle, no anesthesia type is applied to the expectant mother. All the expectant mother feels is the entry and exit of the needle into the skin, which is no different from a normal injection pain. The small amount of fluid taken is put back in place thanks to the urine of the baby in about 24 hours. Fluid taken after amniocentesis is quickly sent to the genetic examination laboratory. Short and long term tests are performed by reproducing with amniotic cell culture. Results of the amniocentesis test are obtained after approximately 3 weeks.
Why Amniocentesis Is Done?
Since the risk of chromosomal diseases such as down syndrome increases with increasing maternal age, amniocentesis is recommended to all mothers over 35 years old regardless of triple screening test. The risk of Down’s syndrome in pregnancies occurring at this age and above is higher than the occurrence of conditions known as amniocentesis risks, such as needlestick injection and development of infection. It is recommended to perform amniocentesis if the results of double or triple screening tests are above normal values, diseases such as rubella and herpes during pregnancy, presence of blood incompatibility and someone with down syndrome in the family. Amniocentesis is also recommended when fetal lung maturation needs to be examined and some blood diseases such as erythroblastosis fetalis are present.
Result of Amniocentesis
Amniocentesis, which is used especially to investigate the presence of down syndrome is applied between 16 and 22 weeks of pregnancy. The result of amniocentesis comes after 3 weeks after the procedure. Often an example of the final report sent directly to the physician is given to the expectant mother. The sample of amniocentesis result should not be evaluated as an intelligence test. Although the values in the report taken from the laboratory are close to the lower limit, sometimes it causes worrying for expectant mothers, this situation does not concern the intelligence of the baby.
Another frequently asked question is how amniocentesis results usually come from? In the results of amniocentesis, normal values or confidence interval values are presented together with the values of the chromosomes that are taken from the mother candidate. In some reports, there may be phrases such as “normal”, “low risk” and “high risk”. Since the information in the report of the test varies from hospital to hospital, it is the healthiest for the expectant mother to get information by contacting the physician.
Amniocentesis test is a method that can be applied in multiple pregnancies as well as single pregnancies. Thanks to the developing technology and medical science, the position and position of the baby in the womb can be seen instantly. Therefore, it is very unlikely that the baby will be harmed during insertion of a needle into the expectant mother’s abdomen. Although no preparation is required before the test, it may be beneficial to consume plenty of water before the procedure, since the bladder is full and the process is facilitated. After the amniocentesis test, it is recommended to restrict the activity and, if possible, bed rest. It is extremely important not to stand for more than 15 minutes for 1 day and to avoid heavy physical activities.
When is Amniocentesis Done?
Amniocentesis, defined as taking a sample from the amniotic fluid in which the baby swims is a procedure performed between 16 and 22 weeks of pregnancy. Amniocentesis performed especially in the presence of a family member with a down syndrome or in the presence of known genetic disease, anomaly on ultrasound, detection of lung development in babies who are predicted to be born prematurely and amniotic fluid is much more than it should be (Polyhydramnios). Another answer to the question of when amniocentesis is performed is this way. Those who have negative results as a result of amniocentesis should decide with their physicians what to do about it.