Invasive prenatal paternity testing is still pretty much the standard method or the most common method used to determine paternity during pregnancy. Depending on how many weeks pregnancy you are, a different procedure will be recommended. Invasive prenatal paternity testing needs to be over seen by a specialist from beginning to end but offer ideal fetal DNA samples that can then be used to carry out a paternity test.
Amniocentesis and Prenatal Testing
Amniocentesis can only be carried out between 15 and 20 weeks of pregnancy unlike CVS or chorionic villus sampling which can be carried out a bit earlier. This is quite advanced in the pregnancy if one is seeking to establish paternity. In some countries an abortion would not be possible after the 15th week which makes this method of DNA sampling useless if the person concerned is considering a termination of the pregnancy.
Amniocentesis is a rather uncomfortable but not painful procedure. What happens with this prenatal investigation is the following:
- An OBGYN will need to be use an ultrasound to determine the position of the baby.
- Following this, he or she will insert a needle into the abdomen always guided by an ultrasound. Guidance by an ultrasound is extremely important to avoid the needle coming into contact with the fetus.
- Once the needle has penetrated the amniotic sac, the OBGYN will extract around 20 ML of amniotic fluid. This fluid will be extremely rich in fetal DNA. The amber/ pale brown in color amniotic fluid must be sent for laboratory testing immediately as it degrades very quickly. The fetal DNA in the sample of amniotic fluid needs to be separated from the fluid itself. Following this, scientists may then compare the fetus’s profile to that of the alleged father.
Risks with Amniocentesis
First of all it must be said that risks are small. The most serious risk is a miscarriage of the fetus- the risk is estimated to be around 0.5% However, there is an issue with this statistic that makes it somewhat inaccurate. Amniocentesis is carried out in the second trimester. In the second trimester some women tend to miscarriage even if they have not undergone an amnio.
Moreover, doctors cannot determine in most cases whether the miscarriage is due to amniocentesis or just due to natural circumstances. There may be cases in which the cause of a spontaneous abortion can be directly attributed to an amnio. This is usually when there is leakage of amniotic fluid due to the penetration of the needle into the amniotic sac. If amniotic fluid levels fall too low, the baby and the mother’s life will be endangered. The chances of this happening are again minute.
How do I reduce the risks of this prenatal DNA test?
There is only so much you can do and you cannot really eliminate fully the remote but possible risks in an amio. You could opt for a non invasive prenatal paternity test which enables a 100% risk free method of sample collection. If you are determined to go ahead with amniocentesis then you can make sure to choose a reputable clinic or hospital. The clinic or hospital you choose should also have their own statistics regarding their success rates with prenatal DNA tests. Also ask about who will be overseeing the ultrasound- is the sonographer fully qualified to do the job?
Following amniocentesis you might also experience the following side effects:
- A temperature – as an expectant mother make sure you monitor this
- Shivers and chills
- Soreness at the point in which the needles was inserted
- Fetal trauma
- Respiratory distress
You will be undoubtedly told everything before the procedure and doctors will help put your mind at rest.