Why diagnostic tests are carried out in pregnancy
Diagnostic tests are sometimes done during pregnancy to check for chromosomal and genetic conditions in unborn babies.
These can include:
- Down syndrome
- Edwards’ syndrome
- Patau’s syndrome
You may be recommended for a diagnostic test if:
- your screening test or ultrasound scan suggest that your baby may have one of these conditions
- you have previously had a baby with a serious medical or genetic condition
- you are very worried about the risk of chromosomal or genetic conditions
Making an informed choice
Diagnostic tests are often the only way to be sure if your baby has certain health problems.
- reassure you that your baby has no abnormalities
- give you time to prepare for a baby with special needs
- help you decide if you want to continue with your pregnancy
However diagnostic tests can:
- never be 100% accurate
- be invasive
- increase the risk of miscarriage
- increase anxiety - especially if you feel you would continue with your pregnancy regardless of the results
Ask your obstetrician or midwife to explain the risks involved in diagnostic tests.