Every pregnant woman is offered to have prenatal screening. This could include blood tests and an ultrasound. This way your doctor will know whether the baby’s chances are higher of having any birth defects. If the results are positive, you will be asked to have some more tests.
Genetic counseling and prenatal screening
Those women who are thinking about screening receive such counseling. The counselor will take into consideration some statistics and he or she will also review your medical history to know whether your pregnancy is at risk. This way you will know what kinds of tests to have.
Prenatal screening facts
There are many different kinds of tests to find abnormalities, such as Down syndrome. This is a chromosomal abnormality that causes mental abnormalities and birth defects. In case of every pregnancy there are small chances of being faced with such a problem.
The screening of pregnant women becomes even more important in case of women over 35 because the risks increase. They are offered amniocentesis. This test is used to learn whether the little one has chromosomal abnormalities.
The pregnant women’s screening usually doesn’t include this test because the chances of chromosomal abnormalities are lower.
There is a test that shows whether women need amniocentesis. Remember that the test cannot show whether the baby has abnormalities, but it can show if the pregnancy is of high risk.
During the routine prenatal screening you will learn whether there are any neural tube defects. The chances of such abnormalities don’t increase with age.
If the pregnant woman doesn’t have any kind of screening, she cannot prepare for the possible abnormalities.
Who is prenatal testing good for?
Any pregnant woman could get screened. In case you have a low risk pregnancy then you could have maternal serum screening. Nonetheless if you are over 35 and you have a family history of abnormalities, then you should have some specific tests.
It is possible that the prenatal exam doesn’t pick up any abnormalities with the exception of Down syndrome.
Screening in the first trimester
A pregnant women’s testing isn’t a definite testing. This is meant to show the risks of having abnormalities and whether it is needed to have amniocentesis. The majority of the pregnancies turn out to be normal without being of high risk.
During the first trimester the testing of pregnant women is done between weeks 11.5 and 13.5 and it consists of two parts: there is an ultrasound and a blood test. The tests aren’t harmful and in 85% of the cases they accurately show the presence of abnormalities. Women can have the results a week after the screening.
This screening doesn’t test the neural tube defects. For this you will need an AFP in the second trimester. Still the tests offer no guarantee that the little one will not have problems with the neural tube. As you may see there are numerous kinds of prenatal screening that you could have, and it all depends on your needs and the needs of the baby.