Prenatal Test – Amniocentesis – The risks

Amniocentesis is a prenatal test that is usually performed during weeks 15 to 18 of pregnancy.  As with any invasive prenatal testing there is some risks involved.  You’ll want to discuss the risks and benefits of amniocentesis with your doctor or midwife before you go ahead with the procedure.

There is a small chance that you could miscarry after having an amniocentesis.  The risk of miscarriage due to amniocentesis is between 1 in 200 and 1in 40, dependent on the skill level of the doctor performing the procedure.  You can significantly lower your risk factor for miscarriage by asking for an experienced physician that does at least 50 amniocentesis procedures each year.

There is slight risk for uterine infection in the days following the procedure.  This risk is less than 1 in 1000.  A uterine infection can sometimes lead to miscarriage.  Choosing a Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer who is experienced in this procedure will lower the chances that the physician will have to repeat this procedure because they can not find enough fluid on the first try.  Multiple procedures will increase your risk of infection and therefore miscarriage.  A good sonographer will also help prevent injury to the baby, by providing continuos ultrasound guidance.

Prenatal Test – Amniocentesis – The risks