Types of Prenatal Screening Tests
Learn about birth defects caused by chromosomal disorders and the tests used to identify them.
Learn about birth defects caused by genetic syndromes and the tests used to identify them.
Learn about birth defects caused by structural defects and the tests used to identify them.
Understanding Prenatal Screening Tests
There are many options when it comes to prenatal screening.
Some prenatal tests will be done several times during your pregnancy, while others are given at certain times during your pregnancy or if you have certain problems that may affect you or your baby. Learn more about the tests we offer before you decide what's right for you and your family.
Making a Decision
Before you agree to have a test, you should think about what you will do with the information. Many couples would not have a CVS or amniocentesis under any circumstances. They would not end the pregnancy if the baby is affected, and/or they do not accept the risk of miscarriage from CVS or amnio. These couples might not want to have screening tests.
Questions to Consider
Think about these questions before deciding to have any form of genetic testing:
- Is this information I want to know before delivery?
- How do I feel about ending the pregnancy?
- How do I feel about raising a child with a disorder?
- What impact will this have on my family?
- Who will care for an adult with special needs when I am no longer able?
- How do I feel about miscarriage?
- If I decide not to have testing, will I worry about this until the baby is born?
Remember that all of these tests are optional and entirely your choice. Discuss your options with your provider or a genetic counselor.
Support for Our Patients
At the Mass General OB/GYN Department, each patient is an important member of her own care team. To support you, we offer education resources such as childbirth classes, pregnancy-related information and access to women's health resources.