Prenatal tests enable physicians and midwives to monitor maternal-fetal well-being and to determine their risk for complications. Most of the time these tests simply reassure that all is going well.
If a concern is indicated, however, parents can work with a genetic counselor to find out more information. The tests a doctor recommends for a specific woman will vary, but commonly recommended tests include:
Screening v. diagnostic: Whatís the difference?
Prenatal screening tests can produce both false-positive and false-negative results. Though the percentage of false results is quite low, itís important to have diagnostic testing to confirm the results if the test is positive. Most of the fetuses that have a positive screening test do not have Down syndrome or neural tube defects. Only a diagnostic test like CVS or amniocentesis can tell for certain.
Whatís your risk?
The likelihood of having a child with Down syndrome or other chromosomal abnormalities increases with maternal age.
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