For those who don’t know what this is, amniocentesis is a test done during pregnancy which is used to determine if the unborn baby has developed any abnormality or serious health conditions such as down’s syndrome, spina bifida, and sickle cell anaemia. Now while this sounds like a good idea, the test is done between 15-20 weeks in the pregnancy where a needle is inserted into the body to take a sample from the fluid surrounding the baby. There is also another test that is offered before this, called Chorionic villus sampling where again a needle is inserted through the abdomen and cells are taken from the placenta at 10-13 weeks in the pregnancy. Both of these test hold a risk of miscarriage since they are invasive. They use these reasons to determine why you need to have the tests done : Your age, your medical history or a family history of inherited conditions.

I have been offered these tests before and refused, the only thing they had against me was my age and at 20 weeks if something was to be found what exactly could you do about it? What annoys me the most is that there is a test available if you went private which is a simple blood test which holds no risks of miscarriage but costs £500. Surely this should be made available to all expectant mother’s, here is a comment from a woman who went ahead and had the test which sadly resulted in the loss of her baby:

you say you can have a risk of miscarriage – I had the amnio test at 16 weeks and leaked fluid two hours after the test. From that day the fluid kept increasing and then decreasing (having scans regular to monitor this) this continued for 10 weeks that took me over the viable stage of 24 weeks. Infection took over and I lost my child at 26 weeks. So risk is not just a miscarriage it could be a neonatal death. 

My daughter was not a miscarriage (Lilly May Clarke)

Make sure you know all the pros and cons of this test (I wish I did)

As I said, I refused these tests and would rather let nature take it’s course because after all my consultants insistence that I needed it done, my baby turned out to be perfectly fine.

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