Chorionic villus sampling (CVS) is a test used to diagnose chromosomal issue related disorders in developing babies during pregnancy. This test requires collecting a small part of placental tissue known as chorionic villi from the uterus. The sample is then sent to the lab for evaluation.
Chorionic villi are tiny projections on the placenta, that contain genetic information of the baby. These cells are collected close from where the placenta is affixed to the uterine wall. Any health conditions found on evaluating this sample means that the baby also has the same issue.
Chorionic villus sampling procedure
This procedure can be done in two ways – transabdominal and transcervical.
CVS is performed in either of the two ways depending on the positioning of your placenta.
- Transabdominal CVS process involves a thin needle being inserted into your uterus through the abdomen. Using ultrasound as a guide, the sample is extracted.
- Transcervical CVS process involves inserting a thin needle from the vagina, through the cervix, into your uterus. Ultrasound is used as a guide in extracting the sample.
You may feel mild pain or cramping during or after the process. You will be asked to take rest for the day and report any bleeding or leaking of fluid to your doctor.
Uses of chorionic villus sampling
- CVS can be performed in early pregnancy after 10 weeks, which is very helpful for parents in making timely decisions regarding the pregnancy.
- This test is used in identifying genetic anomalies such as Down syndrome, cystic fibrosis or sickle cell anemia.
- It can also detect certain conditions such as Tay Sachs.
- This test can tell the baby’s gender, as it involves genetic material evaluation.
- With CVS, you can also obtain the paternity of the fetus.
CVS procedure takes only a short while to complete. You should also carefully consider the risk factors involved in going ahead with this test.