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4. What are the risks of amnio?




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This article is from the Pregnancy Screening FAQ, by Lynn Gazis-Sax (gazissax@netcom.com) with numerous contributions by others.

4. What are the risks of amnio?

The main risk of amnio is that it may increase the chance of miscarriage.
Different sources disagree on how much. One of my sources (Scher and Dix)
says that controlled studies have shown no difference in miscarriage rate
among women who undergo amniocentesis and those who do not; the rate is
0.5% for both. Another source (ACOG) says that the risk of miscarriage
for pregnancies from 16 weeks on is 3% normally, and that amnio increases
that risk by 0.5%. Blatt says that the most common figure given is 0.5%,
but that some sources cite 1% to 1.5%, and Rothman gives a 3 in 1000 risk
that an amnio will result in miscarriage.

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From Dr. T. Reynolds:

Some of the dispute is because different studies defined miscarriage
differently: in some only fetal loss within a few weeks of the amnio was
considered whereas in other even still birth was blamed on the amnio. Probably
the studies counting fetal death within 4 weeks of amnio give the best estimate.

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From Rob Brenner, MD:

The pregnancy loss rate after amniocentesis is 1/270. This is the same as
the backround loss rate at 16 weeks. Even though there is no statistical
increase in pregnancy loss after amniocentesis, it is an invasive procedure
and patients should be appraised of a potential loss of the pregnancy as a
result of infection, bleeding, or rupture of membranes. The incidence of
fetal injury is negligible.
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After the test, you may experience cramping, fever and chills, vaginal
bleeding or leaking amniotic fluid. Call the doctor if these are severe
or persist.

 

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