Amniocentesis Essay

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Risks and benefits of amniocentesis Chelsea Webb SCIN132 D011 Win 12 Professor Kennard Sproul The risks and benefits of amniocentesis Amniocentesis is an invasive procedure used to collect cells from the fetus for genetic testing. Amniocentesis is done in a pregnant woman of around 15 to 20 weeks of gestation. Amniotic fluid is the fluid around the fetus in the uterus. The procedure involves taking the amniotic fluid around the fetus to collect cells that are shed from the skin of the fetus. These cells are used in different tests like karyotype i.e., knowing the number and type of chromosomes. These tests will be useful in knowing the possibility of any genetic disease or risk of congenital malformation in the fetus. This helps in diagnosing disorders like Down syndrome, trisomy 18, trisomy 13, neural tube defects and many genetic disorders. Amniocentesis is done by inserting a needle per abdomen into the uterus and taking around 20 ml of amniotic fluid. Amniotic fluid taken is tested in genetic laboratory for fetal cells to detect the chromosome number or pattern or a specific mutation. The procedure should be done under sterile conditions to avoid infection to the fetus. The needle is inserted per abdomen under ultrasound guidance. Use of ultrasound guidance reduces the risk of damaging the fetal membranes and the fetus. Antibiotics are given before and after the procedure to avoid fetal infection. Amniocentesis is useful in diagnosing many genetic disorders before the baby is born. In families with genetic diseases or for a mother with previously born child affected by some genetic condition, the test is useful to confirm or to assess the risk of recurrence. Triple test is a test where markers in the blood are tested for Down syndrome, trisomy 18 and trisomy 13. This test does not confirm the diagnosis of these syndromes but tells us about the

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