Pre-Natal Screening & Test

During pregnancy, there is a lot to consider. Now, If the notion of prenatal screening tests makes your heart race, you're not alone - but knowledge is power. Let's break down the tests you need to take during pregnancy. 

What exactly are prenatal screening tests?

It refers to a bunch of medical tests that your doctor may suggest throughout your pregnancy. Some prenatal screening tests are performed to identify whether a baby is at risk of certain health issues. Also, it is to find out if there are any chromosomal abnormalities, such as Down syndrome.

Most screening tests are performed in the initial and second trimesters. They are often painless and few of them are even optional.

When are prenatal screenings performed?

Screenings in the first trimester might begin as early as 10 weeks. Typically, they include blood tests and an ultrasound. They examine your baby's general growth and determine whether he or she is at risk for genetic abnormalities.

They will also examine your baby for heart defects, immune disorders, and other developmental issues. This is all quite serious and needs to be checked.

Between 14 and 18 weeks, second-trimester screening tests begin. Ultrasounds allow specialists or doctors to examine the baby's body in great detail. It is generally performed between the ages of 18 and 22 weeks.

If any of the screening tests provide unusual symptoms, you may be sent to further screenings. Likewise, there may be a few extra diagnostic procedures for you to bear. It provides the doctor with more accurate data about your baby.

Prenatal testing types

For starters, Prenatal testing is generally classified into two types:

  • Screening tests: Prenatal screening tests can reveal if your baby is more likely or less likely to develop specific birth problems, most of which are genetic. These tests include blood tests, ultrasounds, and prenatal cell-free DNA screening. Prenatal screening tests are often available in the first or second trimester. Note that screening tests cannot provide a clear diagnosis. 
  • Diagnostic tests: If a screening test indicates a problem, it puts you at higher risk of delivering a kid with a genetic disease. In that case, you would want to explore a detailed prenatal diagnostic test. This diagnostic test is the only method to be certain of a diagnosis. Some diagnostic procedures, including chorionic villus sampling and amniocentesis, are associated with a minor risk of miscarriage.

Screening test types

Prenatal screening tests include the following:

  • First-trimester screening tests: During the first trimester, the doctor will perform a blood test and an ultrasound to determine the amount of clear area in the tissue in the back region of your baby's neck (nuchal translucency). The nuchal translucency measurement is bigger than typical in Down syndrome and some other disorders.
  • Second-trimester screening tests: During the second trimester, your doctor will recommend a blood test known as the quad screen. This test determines the levels of four chemicals in your blood. The results reflect your chances of having a child with particular chromosomal disorders.

Prenatal cell-free DNA screening: This blood test looks for baby DNA in the mother's blood. It is to see whether there is an increased risk of certain chromosomal disorders. This screening can also reveal a baby's gender and Rh blood type.

Request an appointment at Apollo Cradle, Hyderabad - Kondapur. Call 1860-500-1066 to book an appointment.

1. Who Should Get Prenatal Testing?

Some prenatal tests are regarded as regular. This means that they are offered to nearly all pregnant women getting prenatal care. Testing urine (pee) levels for protein, sugar, and symptoms of illness are some of them.

2. How the prenatal test results will help me?

Anxiety might be reduced if your test results are within the normal range. If pregnancy testing shows that your baby has a birth defect, you may have to make difficult decisions, such as whether to continue the pregnancy. On the other side, you may appreciate the opportunity to plan ahead of time for your baby's care.

3. Will the prenatal test knowledge influence my prenatal care?

Some prenatal diagnostics uncover issues that can be addressed while the mother is pregnant. In other circumstances, prenatal testing warns your doctor of a disease that has to be treated right away after delivery.

4. How valid are prenantal test results?

Prenatal screening is not without flaws. The rate of incorrect results, often known as false-negative/false-positive results, varies with the test.

5. What are the uncertainties involved with prenatal test results?

Evaluate the risks of various prenatal testing, such as worry, discomfort, or miscarriage, against the benefits of getting the results.

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