How It’s Done

Health |

CVS may be performed using a transcervical or transabdominal method, depending on which is safer for your pregnancy. The more common transabdominal method is similar to amniocentesis. You lie on the examining table and the doctor uses ultrasound to find a good spot to insert the needle. The site is swabbed with antiseptic and numbed with an injection of anesthetic. A guide needle is inserted through the abdominal wall into the uterus, then a smaller needle is threaded through the guide needle and some chorionic villi tissue is removed. Ultrasound is used throughout the procedure. Click here or on the picture above to see an illustration.

For the less common transcervical method, you lie on an examining table with your feet up in stirrups like you would for a gynecological exam. A long thin tube is inserted into the vagina and through the cervix into the uterus. The doctor uses ultrasound to locate the chorion, the matter that surrounds the fetus and will develop into the fetus’ end of the placenta. The chorion has tiny finger-like projections called chorionic villi. The doctor inserts a needle through the tube and removes several bits of chorionic villi for testing. Click here to see an illustration of this method.

Natural Infertility Treatments

Both approaches may cause some pain ranging from slight to severe. You might be able to distract yourself by watching your developing fetus on the ultrasound screen. You may want to arrange for someone to drive you home afterward, and don’t be surprised if you want to spend the rest of the day in bed. Vaginal bleeding after the procedure is not unusual, but you should inform your doctor if you notice spotting or have a fever.