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Chorionic Villus Sampling (cvs)

Discussion in 'Pregnancy, Birth & parenting Information Centre' started by Lottie, Dec 10, 2006.

  1. Lottie

    Lottie New Member

    This is an antenatal diagnostic test for chromosomal and/or genetic disorders that can be undertaken early in pregnancy from 11 weeks onwards.

    The procedure involves aspirating a tiny sample of placental tissue through a needle passed through the mother's abdominal wall into the uterus under ultrasound control after the injection of local anaesthesia to minimise any discomfort. Because this can be done so early on in the pregnancy, it provides an early diagnosis of chromosomal or genetic disorder. If there is a family history of a genetic disorder, it can be very reassuring when nothing is found. On the other hand, if an abnormality is discovered and the couple opt for termination of pregnancy, the termination can be done with minimum physical and psychological trauma.

    The choice between termination and continuing with the pregnancy can be a very difficult one but doctors and midwives should be able to help provide non- directive counselling after a positive test. There is also an organisation called Antenatal Results and Choices (ARC), which provides supplementary counselling if it is desired.

    Like all antenatal testing CVS isn't something to be undertaken lightly and it does have some risks. For example, there is a 1-2 per cent chance of spontaneous miscarriage as a direct result of the procedure and there have been very occasional reports of links between CVS and certain birth defects (e.g. limb deformities). It is always wise to discuss your individual circumstances with your obstetrician. There are also very rare circumstances (about 1 in 500) where the tests are misleading or difficult to interpret, but this is not a major consideration.

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