A Guide to Common Prenatal Tests in Pregnancy

Couple discusses prenatal testing with doctor
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There are a lot of decisions to be made about common prenatal tests in pregnancy. But a part of that first step is knowing what prenatal tests are available, when they happen, and what information they give you. This will help you and your family make a decision that is right for you.

  • Amniocentesis (Amnio): This provides accurate genetic diagnosis and is not a screening test. This is typically done after a screening test or when certain circumstances dictate that this is a better starting point.
  • Biophysical Profile (BPP): Typically done at the end of pregnancy to monitor the health of the baby.
  • Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS): This early genetic test is used to perform genetic diagnostic tests.
  • Glucose Tolerance Testing (GTT): This is a test for gestational diabetes, typically at the beginning of the third trimester.
  • MaterniT21PLUS: This is a blood test performed as early as the 10th week of pregnancy. It looks for genetic disorders like Down Syndrome, other trisomies, and more. It can also tell you if you are having a girl or boy.

  • Non-Stress Test (NST): This test can also be used at the end of pregnancy to see how baby is doing.
  • Nuchal Translucency Screening (Nuchal Fold Testing): This is a screening test used in the late first trimester to screen for Down Syndrome.
  • Pregnancy Tests: Used at the beginning of pregnancy to test for pregnancy itself. It can also be used as a screening for some health conditions in pregnancy, like the viability of the pregnancy, and potentially the diagnosis of an ectopic or tubal pregnancy.
  • Stress Test (Oxytocin Challenge Test (OCT): A test of fetal tolerance to labor and stress.
  • Ultrasound Testing: This test has many uses from screening for various defects, telling the sex of the baby, locating the placenta, checking the health of the baby and can be used very early in pregnancy all the way until late in labor.

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