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Amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling

Published: 01/09/2011

This information is intended for you if you’re pregnant and considering having a chorionic villus sampling (CVS) or an amniocentesis (‘amnio’). It aims to help you work with your healthcare team to make the best decisions about your care. It is not meant to replace discussions with an obstetrician, midwife or genetic counsellor about your situation.

It covers:

  • What CVS and amniocentesis are, and the difference between the two procedures
  • How CVS and amniocentesis are performed
  • The risks of CVS and amniocentesis
  • Why you might consider CVS or amniocentesis
  • How the laboratory tests are carried out, how reliable the tests are and what the results will tell you
  • Your choices if the results are abnormal
  • Making a decision about CVS or amniocentesis

This patient information leaflet is based on the RCOG clinical guideline Amniocentesis and Chorionic Villus Sampling, which contains a full list of the sources of evidence used to produce this guidance.

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