This test can be carried out between 14-26 weeks of
pregnancy and carries a 1% risk of miscarriage with it.
This test is not offered routinely to all women. It is used
to confirm or rule out the risk of any genetic disorders
like Down's syndrome or
abnormalities like spina
bifida because of an initial increased risk factor
calculated by an AFP or a serum screening test.
Amniocentesis is usually offered when:
the AFP or serum screening results indicate increased risk of Down's syndrome or spina bifida
there is a family history of genetic disorders and your baby may be at risk
ultrasound scan detects an abnormality which could be attributed to a genetic disorder
Click here to see how amniocentesis is carried out.