Your health care provider or a genetic counselor will help you understand your amniocentesis results.

For genetic amniocentesis, test results can reliably rule out or diagnose various genetic conditions, such as Down syndrome. Amniocentesis can't identify all birth defects, however.

If amniocentesis indicates that your baby has a chromosomal or genetic condition that can't be treated, you might face wrenching decisions — such as whether to continue the pregnancy. Seek support from your health care team and your loved ones during this difficult time.

For maturity amniocentesis, test results can reliably indicate a baby's lung maturity. If you need to deliver the baby early, this information offers reassurance that your baby is ready for birth.

Oct. 10, 2012