TLC Perinatal PA

Maternal Fetal Medicine & Perinatal Specialist located in Silver Spring, Germantown, and Hagerstown, Maryland

If your first trimester screening reveals a risk of a chromosomal abnormality, your maternal-fetal medicine specialist will likely recommend an amniocentesis during your second trimester of pregnancy. The team of expert MFMs at TLC Perinatal PA offer amniocentesis at their offices in Silver Spring, Hagerstown, and Germantown, Maryland. Have your obstetrician refer you to TLC Perinatal PA, then schedule your amniocentesis by phone or online.

Amniocentesis Q & A

What is amniocentesis?

Amniocentesis is a diagnostic test that checks your amniotic fluid for signs of genetic disorders in your baby. The test is usually performed in the second trimester if your first-trimester screening indicates a risk for chromosomal abnormalities. An amniocentesis provides additional detail about your baby’s health and any potential genetic irregularities that could affect your pregnancy or your baby’s life.

Why would I need an amniocentesis?

The doctors at TLC Perinatal PA use an amniocentesis for a number of reasons, including:

  • Genetic testing
  • Fetal lung testing — infrequently
  • Fetal infection diagnosis

Additionally, if you have too much amniotic fluid, your doctor can drain the excess fluid with an amniocentesis.

An amniocentesis can provide your MFM specialist with the information they need to customize your prenatal care. Your MFM will recommend an amniocentesis if you’ve had abnormal results from prenatal genetic testing, your first-trimester screening, or any ultrasounds. It is also available if you’re 35 or older.

What happens during amniocentesis?

An amniocentesis usually takes about 15 minutes. Your MFM specialist gives you instructions on how to prepare for your test. For example, if you have the test before your 20th week of pregnancy, you might need to have a full bladder for the test.

You recline on a treatment table, while your doctor cleans the skin on your abdomen and uses ultrasound to locate your baby’s position in your womb. Then, using the ultrasound for guidance, your MFM specialist inserts a thin needle into your abdomen and uterus to extract a small amount of amniotic fluid. Most patients report mild pressure or discomfort during the procedure.

After your doctor removes the needle, they continue to monitor your baby with the ultrasound. You can return to your regular activities after your amniocentesis, but you should avoid strenuous activities and sexual intercourse for a day or two.

Is an amniocentesis safe for my baby?

An amniocentesis is a safe procedure. Your MFM specialist will talk to you in more detail about the test and answer your questions about any potential risks. In many cases, the value of the information provided by an amniocentesis outweighs the minimal risk of the procedure.

If you need to schedule an amniocentesis or want to talk to one of the perinatal experts at TLC Perinatal PA about the test, Get a referral from your OB/GYN, then call or book a consultation online.