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Birth Defects Testing - Second-Trimester Tests

Screening tests

Diagnostic test

  • AmniocentesisAmniocentesis. Doctors use this test to look for chromosomal problems in the baby's cells. A doctor puts a needle through the belly and into the uterus to collect some of the amniotic fluid that surrounds the baby. This fluid contains some of the baby's cells. The test is done between 15 and 20 weeks of pregnancy, usually around week 16. This test also can help find neural tube defects, such as spina bifida.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: May 10, 2013
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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