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It's important to remember that you do not have to have amniocentesis if it's offered. A midwife or doctor will speak to you about what the test involves and let you know what the possible benefits and risks are to help you make a decision.Find out about why amniocentesis is offered and deciding whether to have it Amniocentesis is usually carried out between the 15th and 20th weeks of pregnancy, but you can have it later if necessary.Amniocentesis is a test you may be offered during pregnancy to check if your baby has a genetic or chromosomal condition, such as Down's syndrome, Edwards' syndrome or Patau's syndrome.It involves removing and testing a small sample of cells from amniotic fluid, the fluid that surrounds the unborn baby in the womb (uterus).

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Find out more about having a baby that may be born with a genetic condition Or you may consider ending your pregnancy (having a termination).Not “Most mothers describe that when the needle goes into their skin it feels just like a blood draw,” she explains.“When the needle goes into the uterus there is normally some mild cramping. Some patients do not think it’s bad at all, but others find it pretty uncomfortable.” Any procedure that involves inserting a needle into an organ has risks, although generally, these risks are rare.This is estimated to occur in up to 1 out of every 100 women who have amniocentesis.There are also some other risks, such as infection or needing to have the procedure again because it was not possible to accurately test the first sample.

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