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Pregnancy involves a lot of work, which sometimes still amazes us. In addition to various trips to the home improvement stores for inspiration for the nursery, you also have to deal with all sorts of examinations and echoes to make sure that the baby in your belly is healthy. In case there are some doubts about the health of your little one, some pregnant women will have an amniocentesis for the double check. This test is intended to detect chromosomal or congenital abnormalities. How that works exactly, you can read in this blog. 

What is amniocentesis? 

If you qualify for an amniocentesis, it will take place around the 15th or 16th week of pregnancy. During an amniocentesis, amniotic fluid is taken from the uterus for subsequent testing. First, an ultrasound is used to look at the position of the baby and the placenta, after which the amniotic fluid is aspirated through the abdominal wall using a thin needle (Radboudumc, s.d.). The prick itself can be a little uncomfortable, but you will feel almost nothing of the aspiration. Don't worry, your body will quickly produce the amniotic fluid again so that your baby will not lack anything. You may experience pain, cramps or a tugging sensation in your abdomen for up to two days after the procedure. You can compare it to a mild menstrual pain (De Verloskundige, z.d.). 

When do you get an amniocentesis? 

Amniocentesis is not a standard test. Amniocentesis is necessary after an abnormality has been seen during an ultrasound scan, if the results of a blood test are abnormal, if you have an increased risk of having a child with an abnormality during a combination test, if you were previously pregnant with a child with a disorder, or if you or your partner are carriers of an inherited disorder (Radboudumc, s.d.). 

Potential Risks 

Unfortunately, there are risks associated with performing an amniocentesis. There is a 1:300 chance of miscarriage, or in other numbers: a 0.3% chance. That's a bit of a shock, isn't it? We totally get that! But in some cases, this examination is necessary to detect any abnormality(s) in your little one. This is important for the health of the mom and that of the baby in the belly (The Obstetrician, s.d.). 

The results

You will have to deal with two different results. The first result, where the Down's, Edwards' and Patau's syndrome abnormalities are examined, comes after about three days and is discussed by telephone. The second result comes after two to three weeks and these results are discussed in the outpatient clinic (Radboudumc, s.d.). 

The costs

It is a medical procedure that will only be reimbursed if the pregnant woman has an indication or referral for an amniocentesis. This examination is often included in the basic insurance, but always check with your health insurer. It is not possible to have this examination at one's own expense without an indication or referral from the doctor or gynecologist (National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, 2021). 

As mentioned above, this test is (thankfully) not necessary for every woman. We understand that the potential risks are very daunting if you were to be considered for an amniocentesis, but the results are reliable for the almost full 100%. This test gives a fair representation of everything that is happening in your belly. Our fingers are crossed for good news! 

Sources:

The Midwife. (s.d.). Amniocentesis. Accessed October 17, 2021, from https://deverloskundige.nl/zwangerschap/subtekstpagina/41/vruchtwaterpunctie/

Radboudumc. (s.d.). Amniocentesis. Accessed October 17, 2021, from 

https://www.radboudumc.nl/patientenzorg/onderzoeken/vruchtwaterpunctie

National Institute of Public Health and the Environment. (2021). Costs of NIPT, combination test and follow-up testing. Prenatal and neonatal screenings. Accessed October 17, 2021, from https://www.pns.nl/nipt/kosten

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