Pregnancy is a time of great anticipation — and, sometimes, anxiety. You might worry that your baby will have health problems. While most babies are born healthy, it’s important to understand your options for obtaining details about your baby’s health. Naples Women’s Center is here to answer your questions. Call to book an appointment today.
Prenatal screening tests for fetal abnormalities are optional. It’s important to make an informed decision about prenatal testing, especially if you’re screening for fetal conditions that can’t be treated. Schedule an appointment to speak with our expert physicians about what steps may be right for you.
There are two main types of prenatal testing:
- Screening tests. Prenatal screening tests can identify whether your baby is more or less likely to have certain birth defects, many of which are genetic disorders. These tests include blood tests, a specific type of ultrasound and prenatal cell-free DNA screening. Prenatal screening tests are usually offered during the first or second trimester. Screening tests can’t make a definitive diagnosis. If results indicate an increased risk for a genetic disorder, your health care provider will discuss your options for a diagnostic test to confirm the diagnosis.
- Diagnostic tests. If a screening test indicates a possible problem — or your age, family history or medical history puts you at increased risk of having a baby with a genetic problem — you might consider an invasive prenatal diagnostic test. A diagnostic test is the only way to be sure of a diagnosis. Some diagnostic tests, such as chorionic villus sampling and amniocentesis, carry a slight risk of miscarriage.
Will the information shape your prenatal care?
Some prenatal tests detect problems that can be treated during pregnancy. In other cases, prenatal testing alerts your health care provider to a condition that requires immediate treatment after birth.
How accurate are the results?
Prenatal screening isn’t perfect. The rate of inaccurate results, known as false-negative or false-positive results, varies from test to test.