July 27, 2016
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Chorionic Villus Sampling (cont.)

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What are the benefits and risks of CVS?

A major benefit of CVS is that it can be performed earlier in the pregnancy than amniocentesis, providing information about genetic defects earlier in the pregnancy. If a woman chooses termination of pregnancy, it is safer at earlier stages of pregnancy.

Miscarriage is the main risk associated with CVS and occurs in 1 out of every 100 cases. The risk of miscarriage can be slightly greater than the risk of miscarriage associated with amniocentesis. Rarely, defects in the fingers or toes of the fetus have been reported with CVS, but these cases were particularly common when CVS was done very early in pregnancy, before 9 weeks' gestation. For this reason, most cases of CVS are performed only at or after 10 weeks' gestation. Infection is another uncommon complication of CVS.

Who should receive CVS testing?

CVS testing is generally offered to women or couples who have one of the following:

  • Women aged 35 or greater
  • Couples with a family history of genetic disorders or birth defects
  • Women with other abnormalities found in prenatal testing

Genetic counseling and a full discussion of the risks and benefits of the procedure are recommended before undergoing CVS testing.

Some women should not receive CVS testing. CVS testing is typically not recommended for:

  • Multiple gestations
  • Women with an active infection, such as a sexually-transmitted disease
  • Women who have had vaginal bleeding during the pregnancy

Additionally, women with uterine fibroids or a tilted uterus may not be good candidates for transcervical CVS testing.

Medically reviewed by Steven Nelson, MD; Board Certified Obstetrics and Gynecology


American Pregnancy Association.
Chorionic villus sampling.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/4/2015

Source: MedicineNet.com

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