Needles

5 Replies
ree - December 8

I was wondering what is the procedure called when they poke you with a needle and the check the fluid to see if your baby has any abnormalities and how many months are you when they do that?

 

E - December 8

They usually do an AFP (alphafetoprotein) test at ~18 weeks, which screens for 5 genetic defects. If you have an abnormal result, they will do an amniocentesis for clarification.

 

E - December 8

Oh, and the AFP Test is a blood draw from the arm. Very simple. The test is elective so talk with your doctor about this as it is not a routine procedure for women who are low-risk. Risk is determined via several factors (genetics, family history, maternal age...).

 

Reb - December 8

I had an amnio at 16.5 weeks. The amnio will check for chromosomal abnormalities. They actually culture and look at the chromosomes to make sure you have all the right count. They can also see if you have XX or XY (that is, if you are having a boy or a girl). You can have blood test to see if you are a carrier for a number of things, including cystic fibrosis, before your are pregnant. If you are a carrier, they will test your partner. If you are both a carrier, then they'll let you know your risks. The blood tests during pregnancy, like the AFP, can't always give you a 100% certainty. For example, after my AFP, I was given a 1/78 chance of having a baby with Downs. That AFP number is false 25% of the time. That is why we had the amnio, the results there are 100% accurate. The amnio was not particularly painful, it felt like a more intense version of the needle stick from giving blood. Make sure you go to someone who does these routinely. There is risk of miscarriage or damage to the fetus from the needle. Perinatalogists (high risk OBs) do these regularly, and they use an ultrasound to make sure the needle is going the right place. Good luck if you have one.

 

lilmama - December 8

they normally only do amniocenteeses when they think there may be a problem. I wouldnt expect them to do one to you

 

Reb - December 9

FYI, I am 37 and just a__sumed when I got pregnant I would have an amnio. They used to do them on everyone over 35. My OB did not insist that I have one. We had some first trimester screening for chromosomal abnormalities and got great results. Only after the bad AFP came back did we decide to do the amnio, and at that, the day I had the amnio, the perinatalogist said he would probably have said I didn't need it. I can tell you the peace of mind after that AFP is great, but I was nervous for the three weeks between the amnio and my monthly OB appointment to confirm all was well.

 

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