Pre-Natal Screening & Test

Prenatal screening and testing are essential to assessing an unborn baby's health and development. These tests can provide information on potential genetic conditions, chromosomal abnormalities, and other health risks. The results from these tests can help couples make informed decisions about their pregnancy and allow time for them to consider their options in a supportive environment.

What are the different types of prenatal screening and testing?

These include blood tests, ultrasound scans, amniocentesis, and chorionic villus sampling (CVS).

  • Blood tests measure hormone levels to assess the baby's risk of developing conditions like Down syndrome.
  • Ultrasound scans look at the baby's development and size.
  • Amniocentesis uses a needle to remove a sample of amniotic fluid from around the baby; this can detect chromosomal abnormalities.
  • CVS involves taking a sample of cells from the placenta to diagnose genetic disorders.

What symptoms suggest that a patient may require prenatal screening and tests?

Advanced maternal age, prior exposure to certain medications, irregular bleeding during pregnancy, a family history of genetic disorders, and a pregnant woman's inability to see the baby's heartbeat on an ultrasound can all demand prenatal screening and tests.

How should a patient prepare for prenatal screening and tests?

It is crucial to prepare for the tests ahead of time.

  • Discuss the procedures with your doctor and ensure you understand the test's purpose. 
  • Inquire about special instructions (e.g., fasting) before the screening or testing.
  • Have a list of questions ready for your doctor that pertain to the screenings and tests conducted. 
  • Ensure that all necessary paperwork is completed before attending your appointment.
  • You may need to fast for 8–10 hours before the test and avoid strenuous activity.
  • You should also ensure you are well hydrated, as some tests require a full bladder. It is also essential to inform your doctor of any medications you are taking and consult them before taking any new ones. 
  • Finally, if possible, arrange for someone to accompany you to the appointment in case of anxiety or other issues.

What are the risks or complications associated with prenatal screening and testing?

  • It may cause anxiety and concern for parents due to the risk of receiving an abnormal result.
  • There can also be physical risks, such as miscarriage or infection, from the sample taken. 
  • Other complications include false positives, where a test indicates a condition is present when it isn't, or false negatives, where a test shows nothing is present when there is one.

What are the benefits of prenatal screening and testing?

  • It can provide important information about the health and development of the unborn baby, allowing for early intervention if necessary.
  • It helps detect potential genetic conditions, ensuring parents are well-informed and reassured.
  • It can reveal if a baby has a chromosomal condition, such as Down syndrome, or if there is an increased risk of specific congenital disabilities, as well as the baby's gender.
  • Other results may include estimating the due date, checking for problems with the placenta and umbilical cord, or determining whether multiple pregnancies are present.


Prenatal screening and tests are noninvasive procedures that can help identify potential risks or issues with a developing baby. Ultimately, testing makes it possible to better prepare for potential health complications during pregnancy. With the help of these procedures, families have more peace of mind knowing everything is being done to ensure a safe and healthy delivery.

Request an appointment at Apollo Cradle, Bengaluru - Koramangala. Call 1860-500-1066 to book an appointment.

1. Who qualifies for prenatal screening and testing?

Women who are pregnant or attempting to become pregnant qualify for prenatal screening and tests. Generally, those over 35 with a family history of genetic conditions should consider testing.

2. How accurate are prenatal screening and testing?

The accuracy of prenatal screening and testing varies depending on the type of test used. Noninvasive prenatal tests have high accuracy rates for determining foetal chromosomal abnormalities.

3. When is it recommended to perform prenatal testing?

These tests are provided during the first trimester when a woman is between 9 and 13 weeks pregnant. It may also be recommended during the second trimester if there is an increased risk due to family history or other factors.

4. How often should one undergo prenatal screening and testing?

It should be done once a trimester (every three months) during pregnancy.

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