Amniocentesis in a technique by which hereditary disorders due to defects in genes can be detected.
In this technique
- a small sample of amniotic fluid which surrounds the foetus is syringed out.
- This fluid has cells which break off from the skin of the foetus.
- Foetal cells are picked up and cultured.
- Chromosomes in the dividing cells are analysed for genetic defects.
If incurable genetic defects are detected, pregnancy can be terminated.