Amniocentesis Overview

An amniocentesis, also known as an amniotic fluid test (AFT), is a prenatal test often performed on a woman who is within 15-20 weeks of pregnancy where a small amount of fluid is removed from the amniotic sac that surrounds the fetus and then examined.  Amniocenteses are typically performed to look for certain types of genetic birth defects such as Down syndrome, cystic fibrosis and muscular dystrophy. These exams are generally offered to women who have a higher risk for genetic diseases, including those who have a family history of certain birth defects, are over age 35 or who have had an abnormal ultrasound.

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