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1. What prenatal tests are available?




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This article is from the Pregnancy Screening FAQ, by Lynn Gazis-Sax (gazissax@netcom.com) with numerous contributions by others.

1. What prenatal tests are available?

Blood testing: screening for carriers of various disabilities (most
commonly Tay-Sachs and sickle cell anemia), blood typing to determine
Rh factor, tests of antibodies (e.g. to determine immunity to rubella
or measles or exposure to HIV). The more common tests to screen for
disabilities are the AFP or Triple Screen or Down screen (different
names for this test depend on how many factors are being screened),
ultrasound, amniocentesis, chorionic villus sampling; ultrasound is
also used for various other purposes. More experimental methods of
screening for disabilities include PUBS (percutaneous umbilical cord
sampling, in which fetal blood is obtained from the umbilical cord),
fetoscopy, cell sorting, and fetal skin sampling; these methods are
not available everywhere, and some are available only in a few
research centers. Pregnant women may also be tested for gestational
diabetes, and some women late in pregnancy will receive stress and
non-stress tests.

There are misc.kids FAQs available on the AFP, ultrasound, amniocentesis,
prepregnancy and pregnancy tests, Rh factor, and gestational diabetes.

 

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