Chorionic Villus Sampling

Chorionic Villus Sampling Procedure, Risks & Tests

It is the greatest gift to be able to conceive a child. However, at times, there are congenital defects in that child that can be fatal to them. To that end, in order to diagnose any sort of congenital defects, several sorts of tests have emerged. The purpose of these tests is two-fold:

  • To ascertain as to whether the unborn child would have any congenital defect.

  • To provide the right care in order to prevent the risks of such defects.

There is an entire gamut of such tests. Among them, one is called the Chorionic Villus Sampling. This particular test is done on the sample of the Chorionic Villi. Chorionic villi are tissues that belong to the placenta. It entails information about the genes of the baby. Studying the genetic information that the Villi provide can be sued to find out any sort of biochemical condition or genetic defect that the baby might have.

Why would you need this test?

The Chorionic Villi test is not meant for every woman who is pregnant. To that end, it is only performed if there is a chance for the baby to develop some sort of genetic defect. The reasons that a doctor would prescribe this test for you if:

  • You are over 35 years of age. It is because women over 35 have a chance to bestow chromosomal abnormalities onto the children.

  • You or your partner has some sort of genetic disorder. 

  • There is a family history for genetic disorders.

  • You have had other children with abnormal biochemical or genetic disorders.

  • You have had spontaneous abortions before.

  • You have had prenatal testing and the results have come out abnormal.

How many genetic abnormalities can this test map out?

The Chorionic villi test is able to map out about 200 different forms of genetic disorders. If this test is performed in the earlier stages of pregnancy, then it can assist you in coping with complications. However, if things turn out to be drastic and the woman’s health might also suffer, then the possibility of terminating the pregnancy is also taken into account. 

What are the risks of Chorionic Villi Test?

The risks that are involved with Chorionic villi test are as follows: 

  • Bleeding and cramping: If the procedure happens to performed on the cervix rather than the abdomen, then you may experience cramping and bleeding. 

  • Infection: needless to say, this form of test is quite invasive. To that end, there are changes associated with infection that must also be heeded to. 

  • Rh Sensitization: The process can be quite risky. To that end, one of the major side effects of the procedure is that the baby’s blood might mix with the mother’s blood. In such circumstances, if you have Rh-negative blood and the blood of your baby is Rh- Positive, you may become sensitized. This is a condition where the antibodies of your own body can attack your own blood cells. In such circumstances, you will be given a medication that stops you from getting sensitized.  

  • Miscarriage: There is a small risk of miscarriage as well. This chance being about 1 in a 100. This sort of issue arises because of the location where the procedure is performed. If the procedure is performed on the cervix, the chances of miscarriage are there. Furthermore, if the foetus is small or the gestational age is a bit older then too is a chance of miscarriage. 

  • Limb deformities: Another form of drastic risk that comes with the Chorionic Villi test is the deformity that it can cause to the baby’s limbs. Although drastically small chance, this form of risk should be avoided at all costs. 

Therefore, you should take up this procedure after the 9 weeks of your pregnancy is over. 

Now that you know about all the risks, you should consult the matter with your partner before taking up this procedure.

Test preparation

There are no dietary restrictions to this test. You might only be told to drink two glasses of water before the beginning of this test. The goal of this is to make sure that you come with a full bladder. A full bladder is necessary because prior to this test, an ultrasound is also going to be taken.

During the test

These are things that you need to remember:

  • The test is performed in the office of the obstetrician

  • The process takes up to 30 minutes.

  • The procedure feels pretty much like the Pap test.

  • You will have to sign a consent form before the test. 

The procedure of the test is:

  • You will lie on your back first

  • The doctor will then insert an endoscope with a syringe into our uterus. 

  • Using ultrasound guidance, the placenta will be located. 

  • Then the syringe is used to take out the sample. 

  • Two or three samples might be taken

  • After the procedure, your vital signs will be checked. 

  • You will have another ultrasound scheduled so to see that the baby is OK. 


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Dr. Madhu Goel

Senior Gynecologist and a Senior Consultant

Dr. Madhu Goel is a well renowned senior gynaecologist and a senior consultant at Fortis La femme, New Delhi. She runs a private consultation in Goel’s surgery and Gynea centre and prior to being associated with Fortis; she was a consultant a Rockland Hospital.