Amniocentesis: A Comprehensive Guide For Intended Parents

Should you consider amniocentesis with your surrogate?

For many couples, the ability to conceive a child can be difficult if not impossible.

There can be quite a few different reasons behind their infertility.

They may rest with structural abnormalities in the woman’s uterus or fallopian tubes. Or the problem may rest with the man’s small sperm count. Understandably, these couples may despair over the prospect of never having a child.

Luckily, with today’s technology, that no longer has to be the case.

Many intended parents are looking into surrogacy in California.

A surrogate agency in California like Made in the USA Surrogacy in Roseville, CA, is effective at forging a connection between an intended parent and their surrogate mother.

How does surrogacy work? What steps should an intended parent take in order to ensure that their child is given the best possible healthy start?

This article will discuss those topics and dig deep into an effective test known as amniocentesis that will come up or already has come up in your dealings with your surrogate.

Fertility Clinic

For those couples who struggle with infertility, your first stop is typically a fertility clinic.

With their help, you are given a few different methods to help your body conceive.

While these methods may be designed to help your egg become more accessible or to increase the man’s sperm count, additional methods may be required.

It’s important that you don’t lose faith at this juncture- it is still possible to have a baby!

One popular choice among many intended parents is in-vitro fertilization or IVF.

During an IVF procedure, a woman’s egg is removed from her body and placed in a dish. A man’s sperm is also collected and placed in the dish.

With the small space available for the sperm to move around in, it makes it easier for the sperm to find the egg and fertilize. Once that egg has been fertilized, it is placed back within the woman.

For those using a surrogate mother, the egg is placed inside of her body instead.

IVF is an incredible method for those who suffer from infertility.

It also provides a unique chance to perform a few tests on the embryo to ensure that the child is going to grow healthy within the womb.

One form of these tests that can be had is PGS/PGD testing. These tests can be performed to make the job of a surrogate mother just that much easier. They can also provide the intended parents with a bit of relief, too.

Another test, known as amniocentesis, doesn’t have to be performed just through IVF either. It can be performed during any fertility procedure.

In fact, it doesn’t need to be done through in-vitro fertilization or any fertility treatment at all. The test can be performed on its own at any given time.


In a typical year, there are 7.9 million infants born with birth defects.

Some of these defects can be treated after the child is born so they can live a healthy and full life. However, 3.2 million will likely remain disabled for the rest of their lives.

Birth defects stem from three main categories.

They can occur due to environmental factors like smoking, drinking while pregnant, and other actions or situations. They can occur due to genetics which is inherited. Or they can occur due to a combination of the previous two factors mixed together.

In this latter category, it can be especially difficult to determine how the defects came to be. This can make them even more difficult to treat.

You’ve already been through the torment of experiencing infertility. You went through in-vitro fertilization.

You found a surrogate mother at a surrogate agency in California. Every step has been taken and finished. Yet you may still experience heartbreak when your baby is born with a birth defect.

While all babies are special and cherished, you can prevent or anticipate them from developing birth defects by undergoing an amniocentesis test.

Amniocentesis essentially involves testing the amniotic fluid within the uterus. This is the fluid that surrounds your baby as it grows.

Understandably, if the fluid is contaminated or doesn’t provide enough nutrients for the baby, that is something that you as an intended parent want to know about.

The fluid itself contains cells known as fetal cells and also has a large number of various proteins.

It also contains a lot of information that can be analyzed to determine the health of your baby.

After in-vitro fertilization or whatever form of fertility treatment that you’ve undergone is complete, you have to let the embryo grow for a time.

Once enough amniotic fluid has been produced, you can have it tested to determine the baby’s health.

An amniocentesis can check for quite a few different problems and states.

Genetic Amniocentesis

One of the aspects that amniocentesis can inspect is the genetic material of the baby.

This test is typically performed between the 15th and 20th week of your pregnancy. Studies have shown that tests taken before the 15th week offer an increased risk of complications.

However, it is important that you understand the genetic makeup of your baby. This information can be used to determine if there are any present birth defects or other genetic errors that might severely impact the health of your baby.

When it comes to surrogacy in California, you want a surrogate that has a good history of successful births. That record should be made available to you.

A good history of successful births indicates that the surrogate likely has healthy amniotic fluid in which to carry and protect your baby.

However, whoever carries the baby should still consider an amniocentesis test to further examine the actual genetic makeup of the baby to check for problems.

Couples typically consider having a genetic amniocentesis performed if they received a positive prenatal screening test.

If the results of that test are worrisome, then an amniocentesis can help doctors determine if there are any causes for that concern.

A genetic amniocentesis may also be performed for those mothers who had difficulty with a previous pregnancy.

For example, perhaps you experienced a chromosomal condition in an earlier pregnancy that resulted in your child developing Down Syndrome. Or perhaps there a neural tube defect in which your baby’s spinal cord or brain was injured during development.

Genetic amniocentesis can inspect the genetic makeup to ensure that the correct number of chromosomes are there.

This goes hand-in-hand with intended parents who are older than 35.

The older you are, the likelier it is to have chromosomal problems.

These issues can result in a condition like Down Syndrome. Older couples can greatly benefit from amniocentesis just to ensure that the child has the correct number of chromosomes.

Perhaps you know of a genetic disorder that runs in your family or perhaps your partner does.

Or, if you used an egg donor or sperm donor, perhaps they have a genetic disorder. An amniocentesis can examine the makeup of the baby to identify possible birth and genetic defects that were carried down.

Finally, one last reason that you may want to utilize a genetic amniocentesis test is if your doctor noticed something abnormal during an ultrasound.

An amniocentesis can be given to check if the genetics are developing the baby in the correct way.

Abnormalities can then, hopefully, be altered or removed to ensure that the baby grows normally. This can not only save the baby’s life but may also save the life of the mother as well.

Fetal Lung Maturity Amniocentesis

You used a reliable surrogate agency in Roseville, CA to find a surrogate. Your struggles with infertility finally seem at an end.

Yet there’s still one more step to take.

Surrogacy is only the first half of the journey. While the rest of the journey may just seem like a waiting game while your baby grows, there are still actions that you should take to ensure that the baby is developing healthily.

One of those actions should be a fetal lung maturity amniocentesis test.

Typically, this test is performed only when a mother is intending to deliver the baby a bit early. This may be an induced birth or even a C-section.

Your baby’s lungs need to be mature enough before it can be born to reduce the chances of lethal consequences.

A test with amniocentesis can determine the state of the baby’s lungs.

This test is taken around the 32-39th-week mark.

Before 32 weeks have passed, the lungs are not typically fully developed. If there are problems with the baby’s development, then an amniocentesis may be performed as well to check on the state of the child’s lungs.

However, this test is not performed if the mother is facing an infection, suffers from HIV/AIDs, or carries Hepatitis B or C. This because the baby can become infected during the testing with any of these infections.

Fetal Infection

After you find a surrogate, a problem may still arise while they carry your baby.

In some cases, a fetal infection may occur.

Pregnancy is a difficult process even for healthy women who have had children before. At any time, the body might start to see the baby as an invader rather than as part of itself. This can cause the body to start attacking the fetus.

Amniocentesis can be performed to ensure that the fetus remains healthy and is not infected.

In particular, it can be used to test for the severity of anemia that can occur in babies. Typically, this is an issue when a baby experiences Rh sensitization.

While this condition isn’t common, it is possible. Essentially, a mother’s immune system can produce antibodies that fight and destroy a particular protein which rests on the surface of the cells of the baby’s blood.

If not treated, the antibodies can severely weaken or kill the baby.

Luckily, an amniocentesis test can ensure that the fetus is healthy and the mother’s immune system is accepting the baby.

There are other infections or illnesses that can be carried in the fetus as well.

Again, an amniocentesis can search for those illnesses and treatment can be given to bolster the health of the fetus.

An Overabundance of Amniotic Fluid

You or your surrogate may suddenly experience polyhydramnios.

This is a condition in which there is too much amniotic fluid in the fetus. It can be difficult to know if you’re suffering from an overabundance of amniotic fluid.

However, if symptoms do emerge, they typically result in difficulty of breathing, severe pain in your abdomen, and even premature contractions. You or your surrogate might also be able to tell if the belly is growing larger than it should be at a given point in time.

The cause for an overabundance of amniotic fluid can stem from many sources. Sometimes, it can occur because there are multiple pregnancies occurring at once.

So, if you have a set of twins or triplets, for example, the amniotic fluid may become disproportionate to the sizes of the fetuses.

Maternal diabetes may also be the cause of increased amniotic fluid growth. Blockages or abnormal developments within the fetus or womb may cause the fluid to build up.

The baby, itself, might have difficulties in swallowing the fluid or won’t stop urinating it out for a long duration.

The problems of this condition can be severe. For one, it may cause longer labor. No woman, surrogate or not, wants to deal with that.

Premature contractions might also cause a premature baby to be born. Many birth defects and problems can arise from premature babies.

There may be a premature separation of the womb from the placenta. Mothers may also experience uncontrolled bleeding after the labor is over. This could result in lethal consequences.

The baby can suffer from an overabundance of amniotic fluid, too.

They may experience congenital abnormalities. Their size may become abnormal, too, or they may move into an improper position.

This can make birthing extremely difficult. It can also cause the umbilical cord to become tangled.

This can limit the amount of oxygen that a baby receives. In some severe cases, an overabundance of amniotic fluid can also result in the death of the baby.

Because of these severe consequences, having an amniocentesis performed to ensure that the fluid is the correct amount is vital.

Neither your baby nor yourself should be put at risk simply because you didn’t take the step to have an amniocentesis test performed.

Paternity Testing

One final aspect that amniocentesis can be used for is to determine the paternity of the father. Should the question arise, the test can be easily given to determine its parentage.

It does this by collecting DNA from the baby and comparing it to that of the father’s.

These results are typically guaranteed.


There are some risks of amniocentesis that you should consider.

Made in the USA Surrogacy can help you find a surrogate, but the decision as to whether or not your surrogate will receive an amniocentesis has to the mutual decision between you and your surrogate mother.

While these risks are not guaranteed for every amniocentesis test that is performed, you should be informed about the possible complications that may arise through using the test.

The primary risk associated with amniocentesis is a miscarriage and most women report that amniocentesis can be painful.

With that being said, other intended parents opt not to do this test for fear of causing too much pain to their surrogate mother and instead choose to test the embryos before the transfer process by way of PGS/PGD testing.

In some cases, your surrogate may experience amniotic fluid leakage.

This is extremely rare but it has happened before. Leakage tends to be a small amount and typically stops a week after the test was performed.

In most cases, pregnancy typically is able to progress normally.

Amniocentesis tests that are performed before the 15th-week mark typically have an increased rate of a miscarriage. This rate rests at .1 to .3 percent. As such, you should only have an amniocentesis test performed after the 15th-week mark.

In some cases, the baby may move their arm or leg in the path of the needle which is used to collect DNA.

This may prick their appendage and cause an injury. However, they do typically heal quite nicely. It is rare that a severe needle injury occurs.

Although it is rare, it is possible that the test might cause Rh sensitization. This occurs when a baby’s blood cells enter the mother’s bloodstream.

However, there are steps that can be taken to ensure that the mother’s body doesn’t start producing antibodies to attack the baby’s blood cells.

Another risk that may occur, although rarely, is a uterine infection.

Finally, it may be possible to infect the baby with HIV/AIDs, Hepatitis B or C, or even something like toxoplasmosis during the test.

However, doctors typically dissuade mothers from receiving an amniocentesis if they carry any of these infections.

Is It Right For You?

As your trusted surrogacy agency, we can help you find a surrogate but it cannot decide for you whether you should undergo an amniocentesis test or not.

At its heart, an amniocentesis test can further ensure the intended parents that their child is healthy and developing correctly.

But with the risks of miscarriage and others mentioned above, it can be a difficult and cautious decision to make weighing the benefits.

Further tests like PGT can be given to ensure that there aren’t any genetic defects lurking within their genetic makeup.

Ultimately, you will have to decide if the risks outweigh the valuable information that you can receive about your baby and your baby’s health through amniocentesis tests and consider how your surrogate mother feels about undergoing this rather invasive procedure.

It’s also worthwhile to note that because the procedure is invasive, your surrogacy costs will be affected because the surrogate will be compensated to undergo the procedure- separate of all of your other surrogate related compensation.

Amniocentesis: A Comprehensive Guide For Intended Parents

We hope this article has proved informative for you as you attempt to learn more about the surrogacy journey! If you are an intended parent looking to find a surrogate- we would like you to fill out this form or contact us at 916-226-4342.

If you are reading this article as a potential surrogate and would like to become a surrogate, we encourage you to fill out our inquiry form here.