What are the risks of Amniocentesis?

I'll be 37 by the time my next child is born. My first child is normal, and I have no other problems. I am afraid that amniocentesis could hurt my baby, but, at my age, I also want to know that everything is alright. What are the risks of amniocentesis?


Peg Plumbo CNM

Peg Plumbo has been a certified nurse-midwife (CNM) since 1976. She has assisted at over 1,000 births and currently teaches in the... Read more

There is a risk-benefit ratio which should be considered every time you make a decision to perform any invasive procedure during pregnancy. And, of course, your own provider is the best to help you with this.

There are three major risks of amnio, which include: infection, trauma and miscarriage or preterm labor. If the placenta is punctured, a significant amount of fetal blood can be transfused to the mother, which can be problematic if she begins to build up antibodies against these red blood cells. An ultrasound done during the procedure reduces this risk, but does not eliminate it.

When very large studies are considered, there is no significant difference in the fetal loss for an amnio group versus a control group. If two or more attempts are required for testing, the risks go up quite a bit.

Remember that amnio does not assure you that all will be fine. It is limited in its ability to determine non-genetic abnormalities. Consider how knowing the results will change what you would do. If it would be important for you to know so you could prepare, then amnio would be more of a benefit.

I wish you the best for this pregnancy.

Need Advice?
Get answers from iVillage experts and other moms just like you!
Question Details
  1. Pick a subject:
Connect with 1,039,394 members just like you
Share your knowledge, ask questions.