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Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jan 5, 2023.

An amniocentesis is a procedure that is done to take a sample of amniotic fluid. Amniotic fluid surrounds your baby inside the amniotic sac. This procedure is done to diagnose certain birth defects and genetic conditions. Genetic conditions are health conditions that are passed down from parents to their baby. An amniocentesis may also show infection or how developed your baby's lungs are later in your pregnancy.


Seek care immediately if:

  • You have severe pain or cramping in your abdomen or back.
  • You have blood or fluid coming from your vagina.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You are more than 20 weeks pregnant and your baby is moving much more or much less after the amniocentesis.
  • You have a fever or chills.
  • You have redness or swelling at the injection site.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Follow up with your doctor as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.


  • Return to activities as directed. Avoid strenuous activities for 24 hours after the amniocentesis. These include jogging, aerobic exercise, and sex.
  • Ask your healthcare provider if you can return to work after your procedure. If you do go back to work, rest or sit as much as possible.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.