(HealthDay News) -- Amniocentesis is a diagnostic procedure in which a needle is inserted into the abdomen of a pregnant woman, entering the uterus.
The U.S. National Library of Medicine says the needle withdraws a small amount of uterine fluid, which can be tested for signs of the following birth defects:
- Down syndrome and other chromosomal disorders.
- Spina bifida, anencephaly (partial brain formation), and other structural birth defects.
- Rh incompatibility.
- Lung immaturity.