Chorionic Villus Sampling for Your Pregnancy  

The use of technology to manage our pregnancies is a practice that our grandmothers would probably not approve. Today, many Kenyan moms are paying for tests to determine if their babies have genetic disorders, way before their delivery.

Chorionic villus sampling refers to a prenatal testing type that seeks to analyze genetic disorders in the fetus. Chorionic villi are simply projections from your placental tissue. The test is essential if you want to know your baby’s genetic profile. Let’s learn more about it.

Why and when is it offered?

CVS is suitable when there is a high potential for a genetic problem in your baby. Common reasons may include:

  • If you will be 35 years or older at your delivery
  • If your previous baby had a birth defect
  • If you or your partner’s parent has a genetic disorder
  • If you attain abnormal genetic tests during your pregnancy

CVS occurs as early as 10 weeks of your pregnancy. It can be offered later if there are particular reasons.

Are There Other Tests to Determine if My Baby Has a Genetic Disorder?

Amniocentesis is another diagnosis that allows for effective analysis of your baby’s chromosomes. This test occurs after 15 weeks of your gestation.   CVS may pose slightly more risks because it’s offered at an earlier time. However, CVS is more effective when diagnosing certain chromosomal disorders. 

Before you consider using either method, seek counseling to understand their underlying risks and benefits. 

How Is It Done?

The procedure involves the removal of a chorionic villi sample from your placenta to enable diagnosis. Usually, a practitioner takes the sample via the abdominal wall or cervix. Collection via the cervix involves insertion of a tube with guidance from ultrasound images. On the other hand, the abdominal procedure involves insertion of a thin needle through your abdomen to the placenta.  Both procedures may last more than half an hour.

How does it work?

CVS detects genetic abnormalities with an accuracy of between 98-99%.

Risks Associated with Cvs

  • It may cause defects in your baby’s toes or fingers
  • It may cause infections
  • It may cause cramping during the day of the diagnosis
  • It poses miscarriage

Your Cvs Results

The most common analysis on your sample is a chromosome test. Practitioners usually grow the cells in the lab to enhance effective findings. The results are usually available within 10 days. However, in certain particular genetic problems, the results may stay for longer period. In a few scenarios, your doctor may need to take a blood test from you or your partner to enable better interpretation of the results.


#Please note that development differs from one child to another

# Content intended for educational purposes only, and should not be substituted for medical advice from your doctor.


Last reviewed January 2019

Sources: americanpregnancy, cyh, mayoclinic

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