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Amniocentesis: how long are you given to decide? and is it possible to request testing, if you aren't offered one?

I know that amnio tests are carried out at 15-16 weeks and that, unless you're in a high risk group (e.g. an older mum), you aren't offered the test automatically. But does anyone know how far in advance of the 15-16 week stage it's offered to other mums? (E.g. is it usually suggested straight after the 12 week scan?) Also, I was wondering whether all mums have the right to request an amniocentesis on the NHS, even if they aren't considered high risk? If anyone knows the answers, I'd be grateful.

4 Replies

From my own personal experience I was deemed low risk from my blood test but being an older mum wanted a definite answer. From my 12wk scan couldn't do the nuchal fold check because of the position of baby. Blood test done a 15weeks I think my amino was carried out the week after getting results.

Blood test only gives risk factor. The coordinators at my hospital were really good discussed the risk of an amino etc. I had one painless procedure just took it easy for a couple days after. My baby is now 17months old x


I went for a private downs test called a harmony test. cost about £600 but it has no risk to the pregnancy, just a blood test. I older and wanted to know without the risks. Generally you are offered an amnio as a follow up to a high risk result but I'm not sure if you have a right to one, sorry. My risk of downs was lower than the risk of losing the pregnancy through the test, so it seemed worth it to me.


At the 12 week scan they check a number of measurements to give a figure which calculates the chance of Down's. Your age is taken into account. If you have a chance of I think less then 150:1 they will recommend further tests, blood test and amnio (although it's up to you). I'd wait and see until after that then consider your options. I'm an older mum (35 when pregnant). I got a figure of about 7400:1 from that test and was able to accept that and not worry. But there are options if you feel you need to know more certainly, as the other replies have explained. Good luck.


Personally for me the risk is not worth it. I came back with a very low risk after my 12 week scan and blood test. However when I went back for my 20 week scan we found out that babies arms and legs are measuring below third centile which can be a marker for downs. I was offered an amnio test but refused as I know the risk of miscarriage. I have heard of people having these and losing there baby to get the results back that baby was infact fine. I also believe if you would keep your baby regardless of the results I wouldn't get it done. Xx


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