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Guide to Being 17 Weeks Pregnant

Some Things to Consider

You've been poked and prodded for months now, and this will continue for a while (even after childbirth).

So, is an amniocentesis really necessary? For many healthy women without pregnancy complications, the answer is no. Those of you with certain risk factors will probably be encouraged to undergo this diagnostic test, which checks for chromosomal abnormalities that often can't be detected in any other way.

Many women are hesitant to undergo the minor procedure since it involves using a long needle to extract amniotic fluid from the uterus (not exactly a walk in the park, you know?). Amniocentesis carries a 1 percent risk of miscarriage, but the test is important for women who have certain risk factors. If you've got a family history of chromosomal abnormalities, are older than 35 and have had positive nuchal fold test results, you'll be urged or even required to have the test done. Discuss the test at length with your obstetrician and partner until you feel as comfortable as possible and have all your questions answered.