Q: What can happen?

A: An amniocentesis is an invasive procedure. It is best performed by an experienced practitioner so that the rate of complications can be reduced. In general, the complication rate after an amniocentesis is quoted as about 1 in 200, but in actuality it is probably much lower. The complication rate is directly related to the number of amnios done by the doctor in the past, and particularly to the number done per year or per month. An amniocentesis before 15 weeks has more complications than an amniocentesis done at 16-20 weeks. The following are among the possible complications:

  • Miscarriage or premature labor
  • Injury to the fetus
  • Infection
  • Rupture of fetal membranes
  • Injury to the umbilical cord or placenta

You should let your doctor know if you experience anything unusual after your amniocentesis.