Early amniocentesis is performed between weeks 14 and 21. Performed earlier than standard amniocentesis to determine any genetic abnormalities.
An ultrasound is used as a guide to determine a safe location for the needle to enter the amniotic sac so the fluid may be safely removed. A sample of amniotic fluid is collected through the needle. The procedure takes about 45 minutes, although the collection of fluid takes less than five minutes. The amniotic fluid, which contains cells shed by the fetus, is sent to the laboratory for analysis. Results can take anywhere from a few days to a couple weeks to be returned.