am·​nio·​cen·​te·​sis | \ ˌam-nē-ō-(ˌ)sen-ˈtē-səs How to pronounce amniocentesis (audio) \
plural amniocenteses\ ˌam-​nē-​ō-​(ˌ)sen-​ˈtē-​ˌsēz How to pronounce amniocenteses (audio) \

Definition of amniocentesis

: the surgical insertion of a hollow needle through the abdominal wall and into the uterus to obtain amniotic fluid especially for the determination of fetal sex or chromosomal abnormality

Examples of amniocentesis in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Terry Jo, who worked as a midwife, had suffered two miscarriages after the birth of her daughters, but the results of her amniocentesis and chromosome testing had come back normal. Shelley Levitt, Woman's Day, "These 4 Inspirational Women Went to Great Lengths for Their Kids," 4 Dec. 2018 Down syndrome can be detected in fetuses through blood tests and amniocentesis, a test that samples amniotic fluid in the uterus to detect developmental abnormalities. Gillian Mcgoldrick,, "Pa. lawmakers pushing controversial bill banning Down syndrome abortions," 13 June 2018 That can include amniocentesis, which tests your amniotic fluid; an autopsy of the baby; genetic testing of the baby; and testing for infections on the baby or placenta, the March of Dimes says. Korin Miller, SELF, "NHL Star Erik Karlsson and His Wife Lost Their Son a Month Before He Was Due," 22 Mar. 2018 That result spurred me to have an amniocentesis, which extracted fetal DNA via a long, thin needle inserted into my womb. Bonnie Rochman, Time, "Mothers-To-Be Aren’t Told Enough About Genetic Testing," 31 July 2017 Those are also the odds of having a miscarriage from amniocentesis, a diagnostic test for chromosomal abnormalities (including Down syndrome) that takes fluid with a needle from the amniotic sac that surrounds the baby, Dr. Streicher explains. Korin Miller, Glamour, "Does It Really Matter If You Have Kids After 35?," 27 July 2017 During amniocentesis, a needle is inserted and some of the amniotic fluid surrounding the baby is withdrawn and tested for the virus. Donald G. Mcneil Jr., New York Times, "C.D.C. Urges Zika Testing for Some Who Are Pregnant," 19 Jan. 2016 A doctor recommended an amniocentesis to test for genetic abnormalities. Martha Ross, The Mercury News, "Prince’s greatest heartbreak, death of infant son, detailed for first time: ‘I don’t think he ever got over it.’," 15 Mar. 2017 Family members said Dr. Littlefield’s greatest legacy may be his work in the use of amniocentesis — the isolation of fetal cells from the womb that diagnoses genetic disorders in fetuses. Frederick N. Rasmussen, Washington Post, "John W. Littlefield, former pediatrics chief at Hopkins, dies at 91," 1 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'amniocentesis.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of amniocentesis

1957, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for amniocentesis

New Latin, from amnion + centesis puncture, from Greek kentesis, from kentein to prick — more at center

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Statistics for amniocentesis

Last Updated

17 Sep 2019

Time Traveler for amniocentesis

The first known use of amniocentesis was in 1957

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How to pronounce amniocentesis (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of amniocentesis

medical : a test that is done to check for possible health problems in a baby that is not yet born


am·​nio·​cen·​te·​sis | \ ˌam-nē-ō-(ˌ)sen-ˈtē-səs How to pronounce amniocentesis (audio) \
plural amniocenteses\ -​ˌsēz How to pronounce amniocenteses (audio) \

Medical Definition of amniocentesis

: the surgical insertion of a hollow needle through the abdominal wall and into the uterus of a pregnant female to obtain amniotic fluid especially to examine the fetal chromosomes for an abnormality and for the determination of sex

More from Merriam-Webster on amniocentesis

Britannica English: Translation of amniocentesis for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about amniocentesis

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