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Old 06-03-2005, 08:22 AM   #1
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polarized13 HB User
Amniocentisis

Hi Everyone,

I just wanted to discuss amnio for those of us who are 35 and older, and will be facing the possibilty of having that test in the next few weeks. Has anyone had one before? Does it hurt? I had the impression that it was somewhat dangerous to the baby, but I did some research yesterday, and it seems pretty safe. It's the AFP test that has the higher risk of miscarriage. I will avoid that one for sure. Anyway, I just wanted to see what any of you thought about it.

BTW I'm due in January (31st, I think) and am 35, expecting my third child, my other two kids are 12 and 6. I am nauseous and tired, but thrilled to be expecting, and hopefull that everything will work out just fine.

Congratulations to all of you in the preggers club, hope you are feeling well...

~~heather~~

Last edited by polarized13; 06-03-2005 at 08:36 AM. Reason: mis-spelling

 
Old 06-03-2005, 09:28 AM   #2
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worried_mommy HB User
Re: Amniocentisis

Hmmm I think you have it backwards. I believe the AFP is just a simple blood test. (I had that done, myself, it's and elective procedure here in Cananda.) And the amniocentisis has the risk of miscarrage, because they actually put a needle though your abdomen and take a sample of the amniotic fluids surrounding your baby. I have never had it done, myself but a friend of mine had, she said it was really uncomfortable, but not so much painful. She did not miscarry .

 
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Old 06-03-2005, 09:38 AM   #3
BabyMomma26
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Re: Amniocentisis

Yes, I believe Worried Mommy is correct. It is the other way around. Amnio, I heard IS not very pleasant. They don't numb you and stick a big needle in your belly button. I also heard this does carry a risk of miscarriage, but its not that hi. Let up know what you decide and good luck

 
Old 06-03-2005, 10:11 AM   #4
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Re: Amniocentisis

Hi Heather, I am too facing an amnio, I am 35 and expecting 5th baby on 25th Jan.. i do not know much about them so will be following your thread closely.

Good luck, we will have to compare notes as be both sound in the same situation.

Sharon

 
Old 06-03-2005, 10:21 AM   #5
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polarized13 HB User
Re: Amniocentisis

Hi,

Thanks for responding. I probably am confused. I'm going by something I read on one of the prengancy sites. I got them mixed up I guess. There is another test, besides the alpha fetal protien, and the amnio, I can't remember what it's called, but a lot of the docotors are using it now, anyone have an idea? I'm trying to find it on the site where I originally heard about it....Iv'e been doing a lot of surfing, so that's a challenge. I'll let you know if/when I figure it out.

Good luck to you all too, do you feel as tired as I do? I could sleep all day...

Sharon, you must really be exhausted with four others to care for!!

~~heather~~

 
Old 06-03-2005, 10:22 AM   #6
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Re: Amniocentisis

Hi ladies, I am 35, pregnant w/ 2nd (or possibly 2nd and 3rd see my other post) child. I had my first appt yesterday and I asked if I had to have the Amnio and my Dr. told me that I didn't have too. I just had my son last June, so she said she doubts anything has changed and that I only have a tiny bit higher chance of Downs due to my age. I haven't decided yet, I am leaning towards no right now. I know the AFP is done at 16-18 wks and is only the blood test that has a high # of false positives that causes for additional testing. You may be thinking of the CVS test that carries a higher risk of miscarriage than the Amnio due to the fact it is done earlier. My Dr. said that the Amnio does have a small chance of miscarriage, so I don't know what to do, I am definately not thrilled at the idea of a needle going in my belly!! I know they do it while having an ultrasound to see where to stick to avoid the baby. I had a friend that had it done last year and she talked like it wasn't to bad! I guess I am gonna research it some more, talk to my DH and see what is said at my ultrasound in 2 wks.
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Kaleb 6/23/04 aftr TTC 4yrs
Miscarried 12/31/04 @ 6wk 5 days
It's a GIRL EDD Jan 12, 2006

 
Old 06-03-2005, 01:53 PM   #7
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Re: Amniocentisis

I had my amnio in Week 17. I'm currently in week 26. I'm 36 years old, and elected to have it done. We wanted to know what to expect. If you go back into old posts, you will see a lot of threads on this subject. That AFP testing creates a lot of drama and worry when they come back bad.

I completley skipped the AFP testing (the blood test). My doctor told me I would fail the AFP test based on my age alone. AFP testing is a combination of bloodwork and personal inforamtion statistically calculated. It's just a big math problem with an excellent chance of failing.

Many people seem to think the APF is the amnio. I'm talking about friends & family when when you talk to them. The worst pregnancy horror stories I've received to-date have all been from asking friends/family about the amnio. Over 50% of people I asked about the amnio told me they were told they were having retarded babies. Their babies came out fine & went through all this worry. Truth is, they never did have the amnio...they stopped at the AFP. They didn't get clear info from their doctors, nor did they ask enough questions to clarify things. Do not let other people's horror stories freak you out. This is a grand topic for everyone's horror stories. Talk to your doctor. He/She is who is giving you medical advice throughout your pregancy...not your friends & family. (Can you tell I needed to vent all that frustration??!!??!!??...sore subject with me).

The amnio does have a risk of miscarriage, but it is VERY LOW. In the old days, the amnio was a big needle inserted blindly into your uterus to extract fluid. If there was a mistake, there was a chance of miscarriage. TODAY, we have excellent sonograms. Doctors can see in real time if there is enough fluid BEFORE they take it out. They can see where the baby is so they don't poke the baby with the needle. They can locate the pockets in the uterus and select the best place to insert the needle. They can watch the baby in real time and make adjustments if the baby moves. It's all very high-speed and very efficient.

My doctor explained the stats on miscarriages from the amnio are very old and outdated, and don't factor in the new technology. My doctor told me at my age, I had a much higher risk of having a retarded baby than I would miscarrying from the procedure.

And, the amnio does NOT hurt. They do NOT "stick a big needle in your belly button". That's completely false and not even close to being factual. First, the sensation of pain is located in your skin layer. Once the needle penetrates your layer of skin, there is no feeling for the rest of the procedure. They will offer to numb you up, but they are just numbing your surface skin. I didn't get numbed up. Getting my blood drawn was painful compared to the amnio. I am not exaggerating at all.

Also, the needles they use to numb or draw your blood are thicker than the amnio needle. The amnio needle itself is about 8 inches long. It's inserted into your belly/unterus around 2 inches below your belly button. It goes in about 4 inches. That sounds like a lot, but you don't feel it, so you don't even know what's going on if you don't watch. It takes about a minute to extract the fluid. Then they pull out the needle, and you're done.

Also, the needle is extremely thin. It's probably the thinnest needle ever used on me for any medical purpose. I've had an IV with a pediatric needle once, and that was thick compared to the amnio needle.

I didn't watch the actual insertion, fluid extraction, or pulling out the needle. My husband told me all about it afterward. I didn't even know how far along they were, nor did I know they were done until they told me. I didn't even feel them taking out the needle...I had to ask if they'd done that.

If you have any other questions about the amnio, please feel free to ask. I'll tell you anything I can, as truthfully as I can. Good luck!
Gayle

 
Old 06-03-2005, 02:03 PM   #8
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Re: Amniocentisis

Thanks Gayle, that made me a lot more comfortable about it!! I am thinking maybe it would be a good idea!
__________________
Teresa,
Kaleb 6/23/04 aftr TTC 4yrs
Miscarried 12/31/04 @ 6wk 5 days
It's a GIRL EDD Jan 12, 2006

 
Old 06-03-2005, 06:24 PM   #9
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Re: Amniocentisis

Hi Polarized,

I am 38 and had an amnio. The other test you might be thinking of is called a chorionic villi test (CVS) which can be done as early as 8 weeks if your uterus and baby are lined up correctly. It give the same results as the amnio and does carry a risk of miscarriage, albeit small.

I tried to have one but have a funny shaped uterus and just couldn't. I had an amnio at 19 weeks. It hurt a bit but not much. Some women have cramping afterward but I didn't. The needle does NOT go into your belly button, it goes about 2 inches lower. The whole needle part of the procedure takes all of a minute. The neat thing about it is that it's an excuse to have another ultrasound so you get to visit your little bugger an extra time. My husband and I were sure we wanted to have a test in which there was a low occurence of false postives for genetic disorders. We skipped the AFP and just had the amnio. Our little guy is due to arrive July 9th and we are really thrilled.

I hope this helps. Let's put it this way, it hurt me no more than giving a blood sample. The needle is actually much thinner than the one they use for that.

Good luck.

-Jen

 
Old 06-03-2005, 06:37 PM   #10
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polarized13 HB User
Re: Amniocentisis

Hi,

Yes, that's it. The CVS, thank you. That was driving me crazy because I couldn't remember what it was called or find where I read about it before. And thank you so much for the thorough explanation of the screenings Gayle. I thought about searching the archives to see if I could figure it out that way, but you saved me a ton of time.

I agree with what I've heard so far about having so many false positives with those tests, and having to go through the stress of thinking there is something wrong, it would take the joy away from the experience completely. The same thing happend to my neighbor, she was told her baby would most likely be born with down syndrome after her amnio, and she's 39 at the time, but she was determined to have the baby, and she was born beautiful and healthy, and has reached every milestone early. I really makes you wonder if you should put yourself through that.

Anyhow ladies, take care and thanks for the info!!

~~heather~~

 
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