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Difference Between Amniocentesis and Chronic Villus Sampling

Amniocentesis vs Chronic Villus Sampling

Pregnancy is a worrying time for expectant mothers. In today’s medically enhanced world, various tests are available to detect any problems with the growing foetus. During pregnancy, the expectant mother will undergo several sets of blood tests. Although blood tests can provide an excellent overview of any medical conditions, they are not conclusive in their diagnosis. In order for the medical team to assess the well being of the foetus, some crucial tests may have to be carried out.

Chronic Villus Sampling is a test that can be performed in the early stages of pregnancy. It is important to detect any abnormalities in the first trimester; if detected early enough, the parents and the medical team can decide what the best action is. Chronic Villus Sampling, or the CVS test for short, is a simple test that is carried out directly in the womb; a long thin needle is carefully inserted into the placenta, removing a tiny piece for testing. The tissue from the placenta is then tested in the lab for any foetal chromosomal abnormalities. There, as in any medical procedure, is a potential risk when performing the CVS test. The chance of miscarriage is slightly increased after the test has been performed.

Amniocentesis is a fairly similar test to the CVS test. One major difference between the two is the time frame. While the CVS test is performed in the first trimester of gestation, amniocentesis is not carried out until much later in the pregnancy; the 15th or 16th week of pregnancy is an ideal time for the medical procedure to take place. The test consists of a large thin needle being guided into the amniotic sack, the needle is then used to withdraw a tiny sample of the amniotic fluid. The fluid is then studied in the lab for any genetic abnormalities. Just like CVS, there is a greater chance of miscarriage if you have the test.

Both tests are generally offered to women who are aged above thirty five. Pregnancies in women above this age are classed as high risk, with a greater chance of genetic disorder. The genetic and abnormality tests are universally offered to all mothers of high risk, but because of the high risk of miscarriage, not all women undertake this procedure.

1. Amniocentesis and Chronic Villus Sampling are both tests that will detect abnormalities with the developing foetus.
2. Chronic Villus Sampling is an internal test that is carried out in the first trimester of pregnancy.
3. Amniocentesis is a genetic test that commences during the 15th or 16th week of pregnancy
4. Both tests involve inserting a long needle into the placenta.
5. Both tests carry the risk of miscarriage.
6. Amniocentesis and Chronic Villus Sampling are genetic abnormalities tests that are primarily offered to women who are aged over 35.
7. Ultimately it is the women’s decision what to do following the test results.


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