Your guide to health and prenatal genetics
Mother hold baby

Assess your personalised prenatal risks, choose screening tests, and find nearby maternity clinics

What is amniocentesis?

Amniocentesis, sometimes referred to as an 'amnio' is a medical procedure used in the prenatal diagnosis of chromosomal abnormalities. The procedure involves taking a small amount of amniotic fluid, which contains fetal tissues, from the amniotic sac surrounding a developing fetus. The fetal DNA is then examined for genetic abnormalities. Amniocentesis is what is termed an invasive diagnostic procedure and carries a risk of miscarriage, estimated at between 1-2%.