Amnio and Risks

Updated on June 22, 2010
D.B. asks from North Richland Hills, TX
12 answers

We are getting ready for our next OB apt where we have to decide if we want the first trimester screenings. I feel like if I do the screenings and something comes back off I will want to verify it with a conclusive diagnostic test. I understand that their are risks including a miscarriage by doing amnio. Just wondering if anyone has ever had a problem with the procedure. Again, we have not been told we needed it but if I am unwilling to go all the way with the testing then I'm not sure I want to start. Thanks.

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answers from Chicago on

I had my twins when I was 36 , almost 37 years old. I asked my doc if she was going to suggest an amnio. She asked me if it would change anything if I had one (meaning would I terminate if there was a problem). I said no , She said then she didn't see any reason to have one. Good luck to you :)

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answers from Savannah on

I'd pass.... the risks are too dangerous, and if you don't intend on aborting if tests come back positive... then there's no use in going part of the way, half way, or all the way. The screenings can be really inaccurate also. I passed on all of them.

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answers from Honolulu on

I have had, with both my pregnancies, the Amnio.
If I had to do it again, I would.
I did it due to maternal age. It was my choice.
It was performed by my Doctor.
I had no problems with the procedure nor did it affect my pregnancy.
Regardless of the results, it would not have affected my decision to continue or end my pregnancy. I wanted to have the test, to find out if there are any genetic concerns about my children, for future reference.
I am glad I had the test and procedure.

Sure, some say these tests don't make a difference because ultimately, it is done only to decide if you want to keep the baby or not....if there are problems/Downs syndrome in the baby.
But this is not the point.
For me, it was wanting to know, whether my children would have any genetic issues or not. Then we could know beforehand and prepare for it and the caring of them.

all the best,

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answers from Dallas on

I had the amnio with both my pregnancies. My 1st trimester screenings came back high risk for Down's with my 1st and the wait was terrible waiting for the amnio results. It made no difference as far as terminating the pregnancy or even if we loved the child. It had more to do with preparing ourselves and our families if we did have a special needs child. With my 2nd pregnancy I opted not to find out the results of my screenings (dr did them anyway b/c of other indications that they can have)until after the results of our amino.

Amnio's are not as risky as once believed. I think they have actually lowered the statistical risk in the last few years due to better procedures. Our peri told us that it is very hard to determine the real risk due to the fact that many women who get the amnio have high risk pregnancies in the first place. They have to count those who m/c after the procedure even if the amnio didn't have anything to do with it (other factors in the pregnancy).

If you are against the amnio, tell your doctor. They can do sono's and other tests that will give you some peace of mind.

Good luck!

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answers from Seattle on

If you know for sure that you would never terminate your pregnancy, I'd say skip the tests.

If you are unsure, or know that you would not want to carry a fetus with a severe genetic defect to term, go for it.

This is your life, your body, your family. You get to make the decisions and don't let other people judge you for it. I would suggest that you discuss it with your partner and then the two of you can decide what's best for your family.
Good luck!

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answers from Atlanta on

They won't do an amnio in your first trimester. You generally wait until 14-16 weeks. I had no problems with mine -although it did hurt a bit! In your first trimester you can have CVS testing, and it carries a slightly higher risk of miscarriage -although not much.

The risk of miscarriage from an amnio is VERY small -1-2%. Many of the higher statistics are very old and from the 1980s. You need to make sure the performing doctor does them very often. Most practices have a dedicated doctor or two who do all of their amnios. The risk is certainly not high enough to make you forego important testing. Regardless of what you would do about the pregnancy, you and your doctors should always be prepared for any special needs a newborn may have. This is why, if you refuse testing, you will be given a card to take to the hospital stating that. The doctors and the hospital understand that a lot can go wrong if they don't have forewarning of certain special conditions, and they rightfully don't want to be sued for it!

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answers from Boston on

My sister did the screening and she was told of some potential abnormalities. Amnio was recommended but because of the risks involved and a potential miscarriage, she decided against it. Her daughter was born just fine with no problems or health concerns. Testing is not 100%!!! Do the testing so you know, but don't do the amnio. Unless you feel that your decision is going to change based off of the info given to you. Some people want to know and others do not. It truly depends on what you're going to do with that information. Best of luck!

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answers from Dallas on

I wouldn't do it. A lot of times those tests have false postives and can cause too much undue stress. You wouldn't want that for your baby, right? I passed on all my screenings. I mean, if there's not a family history of anything major (or even so, alot of them are rare) I wouldn't do it.

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answers from Dallas on

It's a hard decision to make & one we can each make only for ourselves. That being said, the first trimester screenings come back with a lot of false positives & the rate of false positives goes up with maternal age. I chose to not have the first trimester screening with any of my children. However, with my last child I was strongly encouraged to do amnio because of my age (35 was considered "advanced maternal age"). I did it, but declined the genetic counseling because I saw no point in hearing all of the "what ifs" when we didn't even have the test results back. I had decided to do the genetic counseling after the fact, if any questionable results came back. Thankfully, everything was normal. The test itself was not too bad. It didn't really hurt, but was a little uncomfortable. It was done in the perinatologist office with an advanced sonogram, not the kind in the regular OB's office. That is supposed to help them with exact positions of everything. It went fine & I was just told to do bedrest for 24 hours afterward. That part was a little hard with 2 other kids at home & not feeling bad, but I did whatever they said because I didn't want to risk anything. I kind of remember a little cramping, but not too bad. I hope that helps!

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answers from Dallas on

I have a question for you. If your first trimester screenings come back abnormal would you love your baby less? I did these test with my first son but decided not to with my second, if my test had come back abnormal (which some do but are false readings) I wouldn't of done the amnio. I believe that everything is in Gods hands and he will take care of you and your baby. Decided what is right for you, good luck and congrats.

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answers from Minneapolis on

This really is a personal decision and not a blanket one. It depends on your history and risk factors and also your personal beliefs and ethics.
Do you have any risk factors such as Advanced Maternal Age; some type of chromosome abnormality or great genetic factors that place you at risk? Do you have other genetic factors in your family that you are worried about? Are you on medications that are not advised during pregnancy? Have you had a child before with a chromosome abnormality?
If the answer to these questions are no; know that the triple and quad screens have a lot of false positives to only find out later that everything is okay. If you do not mind the undo stress and have the personality of just wanting to check everything possible, then sur eyou can have it done. They are safe procedures but do carry risk I think are unnecessary. Now on a personal level; I do not care what type of disorder my child was born with; it would not change what I do with a pregnancy. I would keep the pregnancy and carry the baby as close to term as I could and keep my baby. So finding out at 12 weeks or 38-40 weeks would not change anything for us. We would do everything exactly the same during the pregnancy, labor & delivery. No services can be obtained until after the child is born, so knowing ahead who have not done us any good. If you are going to keep a pregnancy no matter what the outcome was, I would just wait until the 20 week ultrasound, go with that for any gross abnormalities and enjoy your pregnancy.

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answers from Indianapolis on

We opted not to do any screenings with either of our pregnancies because the tests are not quite accurate enough at this time (at least not during my last pregnancy 3 years ago).

The number of false positives and false negatives is still pretty high giving many people a false amount of hope or anxiety. My sister is 37 and expecting her 2nd child. She didn't have a choice because she's classified as high risk.

In the end, the extra worry wasn't worth it for us. It wouldn't help us prepare for the challenges if there was a chromosomal disorder, and it didn't guarantee everything was safe.

My one HUGE regret is not banking either kid's cord blood. I didn't think it was necessary at the time. Now, those stem cells may be my only hope for a cure should my cancer choose to return in the future.

Good luck with your decision.

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