Chorionic villus testing or sampling is a procedure that is sometimes performed in the first trimester of pregnancy in obtain DNA material that can be tested for the possibility of any genetic condition in the growing baby. It is commonly done in pregnancies where there is a high risk of genetic conditions, such as older mothers or prior problem pregnancies.
The procedure is performed by using a needle to extract tissue from the placental. The needle can be inserted either into the vagina and up through the cervix or can be passed through the abdominal wall; the choice of procedure depends on the preference of your doctor
as well as the position of the baby and the placenta.
The main risk of chorionic villus testing is that it can cause loss of the baby. The risk of losing the pregnancy after chorionic villus testing is around 2%. Other risks of the procedure include infection and bleeding
. Therefore, any decision to perform chorionic villus testing (because of a desire to diagnosis a potential genetic defect) must, therefore, be balanced against the risk of losing the pregnancy. Ultimately, this is a conversation and decision that you can make with the help of your doctor.