Prenatal testing is a term that includes many different tests that can be done during pregnancy. The tests are done to provide more information about your health and the health of your developing baby. Prenatal testing includes simple blood tests or urine analyses, as well as more invasive procedures, such as drawing fluid from the amniotic sac or fetal blood from the umbilical cord for testing.
Prenatal tests can be used to identify many different things, including:
Treatable health problems in the mother that can affect the health of the fetus
Characteristics of the fetus, including size, age, placement in the uterus, and sex
Possible presence of certain, genetic, or chromosomal problems
In the mother, prenatal tests are used to identify things that could possibly affect the developing fetus, including:
Antibodies that can cross the placenta and affect the health of the fetus
About 250 different birth defects can be diagnosed through prenatal testing. Some can be treated
(before birth) or immediately after birth, but the majority cannot. Prenatal testing can be quite complicated. However, prenatal tests do not test for everything, and no prenatal test guarantees the birth of a healthy baby.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a