Pregnancy does give you that great feeling of fulfillment, but do not forget that it’s very important for you to ensure your unborn baby’s good health. Birth defects are common and the earlier they are detected, the better. There are several techniques that would help you in knowing your baby’s state of health, one of which is fetoscopy.
What is fetoscopy?
Fetoscopy is a technique, which permits you to know whether your unborn baby has any kind of genetic defects. It is used for detection of structural malformations once you are18-20 weeks pregnant. You as a mother-to-be would not go in for fetoscopy on your own. It is not conducted on every pregnant woman. You would need your doctor to advice and probably genetic counseling before you have a fetoscopy.
Do You Need To Go In For a Fetoscopy?
● Are you having your first baby after the age of 35? If you are, then it would be a good idea to actually go in for genetic counseling. Risks of having fetal abnormality increase ones you conceive after 35 years of age.
● Even if you conceive long before you are 35 years of age, yet you have a family history indicating genetic abnormality, it would be advisable to go in for a fetoscopy.
● Did you marry your first or second cousin? If you have then going in for fetoscopy would be a good decision. Consanguine marriages have a high risk of genetically abnormal fetus.
● Have your ultrasound findings been abnormal? If they have then its time you had a fetoscopy done.
● Even exposures to X-ray, certain drugs, anxiety and infections during your pregnancy could expose your baby to fetus abnormality.
How does one do fetoscopy?
This is a technique that involves passing a flexible viewing into the uterus through the vagina or through an incision in the abdomen to view the fetus or the amniotic fluid. The procedure is done in combination with ultrasound. A small surgical instrument and an endoscope (medical telescope) are put inside the amniotic cavity of the mother. The small size of the instrument results in minimal disturbance to the pregnancy, with minimum maternal complications and risk of pregnancy loss. It is generally done under general anesthesia but it may also be done using local anesthesia.
Advantages of Fetoscopy Vis a Vis Other Techniques:
● Minimal skin incision
● Minimal maternal blood loss
● Minimal discomfort
● Minimal uterine irritation
● No need for central venous line to treat uterine contractions
● Minimal disturbance to the pregnancy
●Does not affect mode of delivery