The Amniocentesis Report

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Table of Contents
I.            Amniocentesis:  What is it and how is it done?

1.         What is amniocentesis?
2.         How is amniocentesis done?
3.         What is done with the fluids obtained by the amniocentesis?
4.         When should I do amniocentesis?
5.         Who will perform the amniocentesis?
6.         How painful is amniocentesis?
7.         What should I expect to experience following amniocentesis?
8.         How fast will I get the results of amniocentesis?
9.         How does amniocentesis differ if I have twins?

II.          What Kind of Information is Provided by Amniocentesis and How accurate it is?
10.       What kind of routine information is obtained by Amniocentesis?
11.       What kinds of diseases are detected by Amniocentesis?
12.       What is a chromosome abnormality?  
13.       What is Down Syndrome?
14.       Can amniocentesis detect genetic diseases that are not detected in the standard chromosome analysis?
15.       If the results are negative (no indication of any chromosomal abnormality), does it guarantee that my baby is healthy?
16.       How accurate are amniocentesis test results?

III.         What are the Benefits of Amniocentesis?
17.       What are the benefits of amniocentesis?
18.       Can amniocentesis detect the sex of my fetus?
19.       Has the age of the mother anything to do with the potential benefit of amniocentesis?
20.       Why does the age of the mother affect the likelihood of chromosome abnormality?
21.       Does the age of the father affect the likelihood of chromosome abnormality?
22.       Can the race or ethnicity of the parents affect the likelihood of abnormality?
23.       What is the likelihood that the fetus has a chromosome abnormality?

IV.        What are the Costs of Amniocentesis?
24.       What are the costs of amniocentesis?
25.       What is the risk of amniocentesis?
26.       Why is it so difficult to estimate the risk of amniocentesis?
27.       Does it matter who performs the amniocentesis?
28.       Can the needle accidentally puncture and hurt the fetus during amniocentesis?
29.       I am RH negative. How does it affect my risk?
30.       Will the reduction in amniotic fluid affect my baby?
31.       How common is amniotic fluid leakage following amniocentesis?
32.       Does amniotic fluid leakage necessarily lead to abortion?

V.         The Amniocentesis Decision: How to Make Such a Difficult Decision?
              What Does the Age of 35 has to do with the decision?

33.       Should I undergo amniocentesis?
34.       How should I decide whether to undergo amniocentesis?
35.       I object to abortions. Shall I still consider amniocentesis?
36.       What is the benefit of amniocentesis if abortion is out of question?
37.       I exercise regularly and am in perfect health. Do I still need to undergo amniocentesis?
38.       Why is amniocentesis recommended only for women who are 35 years of age or older?
39.       I am older than 35 years of age. Do I have to undergo amniocentesis?
40.       Does every positive result (an indication of chromosomal abnormality) imply that I will have to abort the fetus?
41.       Is my family history relevant for the decision to undergo amniocentesis?
42.       Why should I go to genetic counseling if I already made a decision concerning amniocentesis?
43.       My wife is 40 years old and is currently pregnant after years of unsuccessful attempts to get pregnant.  Should we take the risk associated with amniocentesis?

VI.            Alternative Procedures
44.       Is there a better procedure to replace amniocentesis?
45.       Can a blood test replace amniocentesis?
46.       What is "early" amniocentesis?
47.       What is CVS?
48.       Can a paternal blood test detect any abnormalities?
49.       What are the non-invasive procedures that decrease the risk of abnormality in my child?

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