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CVS or Amnio? CVS Amniocentesis Generally recommended if You're veer 35, want results as early in your term as possible, have a family history of birth defects or other reason to suspect them You're over 35, have an abnormal reading on your alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) blood test (given at 15 to 18 weeks), have a family history of birth defects or other reason to suspect them How it works A thin needle is inserted in your abdomen or through your vagina to collect chorionic villi cells from the placenta, which are then tested A thin needle is inserted into your abdomen and uterus to remove a sample of amniotic fluid, from which cells will be grown and tested When given Usually 10 to 12 weeks, sometimes sooner Usually performed at 15 to 18 weeks, but can be done as early as 11 weeks by someone with special training Result arrive Usually within 7 days, but may take up to 3 weeks In 7 days to 2 weeks. Some information available within 24 hours at certain major medical centers Miscarriage risk About 1 percent, probably because it's done so early and removes material located nearer the fetus; possibly less if done by an experienced technician. CVS has also been linked to .03% risk of causing limb defects when performed before 10 weeks. About 0.2 to 0.5% at 15 weeks, and 2..2% at 11 to 14 weeks What it shows Certain major birth defects; some genetic diseases; sex of baby. Cannot detect open neural tube defects. Not as widely available as amniocentesis because it requires special training Certain major birth defects, including 95 percent of neural tube defects; some generic diseases; the baby's sex. is 99% accurate in detecting Down's syndrome and other chromosomal abnormalities