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Prenatal Testing
The information provided below explains different types of tests which can be expected during pregnancy.
CBC - A complete blood count is done to determine the ability to carry oxygen and nutrients through the body and to the fetus. A hematocrit is repeated when the glucose
challenge test is performed. If you are anemic your doctor may recommend additional iron.
Rubella Titer - This test determines your immunity status to Rubella (the German Measles). If the test shows non-immunity, the imunization will be offered at the time of
delivery.
Hepatitis B - This test determines whether you have Hepatitis B, or are a carrier. If you are a carrier, your baby will need to be vaccinated at birth.
Blood Type and Rh, Antibody Screen - If you are Rh negative and the father of the baby is Rh positive, there is the possibility the baby could inherit the father's blood type
which could cause a problem during this or future pregnancies. Fortunately, we can prevent this in most cases by giving you an injection of Rhogam - this prevents your
immune system from responding to the baby's Rh-positive blood cells. If you are Rh positive, there is nothing to worry about.
Syphilis - This test determines whether you have Syphilis. If you do your doctor will start treatment.
Gonorrhea and Chlamydia Cultures - These sexually transmitted diseases can cause complications in the newborn. Both infections are easily treated during pregnancy.
Pap Smear - This test detects cancerous and pre-cancerous changes in the cervix (the opening to the uterus).
Urine tests - This test will give information about levels of sugar and protein and infection.
HIV - An HIV (AIDS) test will be recommended. It is your choice if you would like to have this test performed. If you have HIV, there is a 25% risk of transmitting the virus
to the baby. With medications and pregnancy management, we can decrease the likelihood of transmitting the virus to the baby to less than 1%. We can perform this
test any time during the pregnancy if you decide not to have it at your first visit.
Cystic Fibrosis - Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a life-long illness. The disorder causes problems with digestion and breathing. CF does not affect intelligence or appearance. CF is
a recessive genetic condition. Every person has two copies of the CF gene. Both genes of the pair have to be altered for a person to have the disease. If only one of the
copies is altered then the person is a carrier of CF. A person who is a carrier does not have CF. There are no known health problems associated with being a carrier. The
chance of being a CF carrier depends on Ethnicity/Race. We now have a test for some of the CF gene mutations.
First Trimester Screening For Downs Syndrome - This blood test combines the results of two laboratory values, pappA, and Beta Human Choriogonadotropin (BHCG) an
ultrasound measurement of the nuchal thickness, and your age to predict the risk of Downs Syndrome (Trisomy 21), and Trisomy 18. Results are reported as a ratio,
such as 1:200 or 1:5,000. This test can only detect about 86% of fetuses with Downs Syndrome. There is a 5% false positive rate (meaning 5% of people who take this
test will get a result that says their risk of having a baby with Downs syndrome is increased when in fact the fetus is normal). This test is done between 11 and 13
weeks. It is your choice if you would like to have this test. If this test reports an increased risk (1:270 or higher) of having a baby with Downs Syndrome you will be
offered an amniocentesis or a CVS.
Quad Screen Test For Downs Syndrome - This blood test combines the results of four laboratory values, alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), estriol, and Beta Human
Choriogonadotropin (BHCG) and Inhibin A, and your age to predict the risk of a fetus with a neural tube defect (such as Spina Bifida), the risk of Downs Syndrome
(Trisomy 21), and Trisomy 18. Results are reported as a ratio, such as 1:200 or 1:5,000. This test can only detect about 82% of fetuses with Downs Syndrome. There is a
5% false positive rate (meaning 5% of people who take this test will get a result that says their risk of having a baby with Downs syndrome is increased when in fact the
fetus is normal). This test is done between 15 and 20 weeks and is offered to all pregnant women. It is your choice if you would like to have this test. If this test reports
an increased risk (1:270 or higher) of having a baby with Downs Syndrome you will be offered an amniocentesis.
Amniocentesis - This test diagnoses chromosomal abnormalities in the fetus. It is generally performed during the 15th to 17th weeks of pregnancy. Using ultrasound as
a guide, a needle is placed through the abdomen into the uterus to collect amniotic fluid for testing. Fetal skin cells floating in the fluid are obtained and cultured in a
laboratory for evaluation of the chromosomes. Results of the studies are available in about two weeks. In addition, the fluid is tested for the level of alpha-fetoprotein,
to detect a neural tube defect such as Spina Bifida. This test has a 1/200 risk of miscarriage.
Chorionic Vili Sampling (CVS) - This test diagnoses chromosomal abnormalities in the fetus. It is performed during the 11-12th week of pregnancy. A needle is inserted
either through the abdomen or the vagina into the uterus to sample the placenta. The results of CVS can be obtained earlier in pregnancy and more quickly than with
amniocentesis. Most women get their results within 10 days. This test has a 1% risk of miscarriage.
Ultrasound - An ultrasound or sonogram is an image of the developing fetus produced using specially directed sound waves. This painless and safe procedure can give
information concerning the babies anatomy. Ideally this test is done between 17 and 20 weeks to allow for adequate evaluation of the fetus. A level II ultrasound will
detect approximately 60% of all birth defects, 90% of all major or lethal birth defects.
Glucose Load Test (GLT) - This test is usually performed on all pregnant patients (who are not already known to be diabetic) between the 24th and 28th week of
pregnancy as a screening test for gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy). If you have risk factors for developing gestational diabetes your doctor may do this
test at 16 weeks. If your score is elevated, a nurse will call you to arrange for a 3 hour glucose tolerance test, a definitive test for gestational diabetes.
Group Beta Streptococcus (GBS) - GBS is a type of bacteria that can be found in up to 40% of pregnant women. A woman with GBS can pass it to her fetus when she is
pregnant or to her baby during delivery or after birth. Most babies who get GBS from their mothers do not have any problems, although a few will become sick. This can
cause major health problems or even threaten their lives. Being colonized with GBS usually does not pose any danger to a woman’s health. But to reduce the risk of GBS
infection in the baby we treat all mothers who test positive for GBS with antibiotics during labor.