Usually performed between 14 and 20 weeks of pregnancy, amniocentesis can
be used to diagnose many different gene and chromosome issues in the fetus
including: Down syndrome; rare, metabolic disorders that are passed down
through families; and other genetic abnormalities, like trisomy 18.
The procedure involves removing a small amount of fluid from the uterus.
The amniotic fluid contains genetic information, which will help confirm
or rule out any genetic abnormalities. This diagnostic test is often suggested
for women with a family history of genetic disorders, who are more than
35 years old or who had an abnormal result on previous screenings. It's
99% accurate for diagnosing Down syndrome.