Prenatal Testing Services
As you prepare for parenthood or decide whether it's right for you, you have a lot to consider. Our prenatal testing services provide the information and reassurance you need to decide what's best for you. We offer a full range of prenatal screening tests based on your health and wishes.
Our Prenatal Testing and Screening
Our goal is to help you make informed decisions about the seemingly endless choices you have. Our prenatal testing detects health conditions that may affect you and your unborn baby. With this knowledge, you can begin treatment as soon as possible. Earlier treatment can increase your chances for a healthy pregnancy and baby.
Our services include:
Genetic counseling gives you information about your risk of passing down genetic conditions or birth defects to your child. This may be the first step you take before prenatal testing.
In serum integrated screening, we draw the mother's blood to look for birth defects, such as Down syndrome and spina bifida. The screening involves two blood tests that take place during different stages of pregnancy:
- First trimester: 10 to 13 weeks of pregnancy
- Second trimester: 15 to 20 weeks of pregnancy
Noninvasive prenatal screening involves drawing the mother's blood to understand the risk for birth defects, such as Down syndrome. This screening is not used to diagnose birth defects.
If these test results show there is a chance your baby has a genetic condition, then you and your doctor may decide to proceed with additional testing. These tests include chorionic villus sampling and amniocentesis.
In AFP testing, we draw the mother's blood to look for birth defects, such as spina bifida. High levels of AFP (alpha-fetoprotein) often mean the unborn baby has a birth defect. AFP testing can also be used to screen for some common chromosomal abnormalities.
All unborn babies produce alpha-fetoprotein (AFP). AFP then appears in the mother's blood. Higher-than-normal levels for the mother's stage of pregnancy show that the baby may have an issue.
Pregnancy ultrasound, or a sonogram, gives you and your doctor pictures of your unborn baby. It is a routine prenatal test that serves many purposes, such as confirming pregnancy and checking your baby's growth and development.
Types of pregnancy ultrasound include:
- Nuchal translucency test (first trimester ultrasound)
- Fetal anatomy survey (level 2 ultrasound, 20-week ultrasound, 2-week anatomy scan)
- Growth ultrasound (growth scan)
- Doppler assessment (fetal Doppler)
In chorionic villus sampling, we remove a small amount of tissue from the placenta, called chorionic villi. The placenta delivers oxygen and nutrients to the unborn baby and removes waste from the baby's blood. Chorionic villus testing can detect genetic diseases.
Amniocentesis tests for genetic conditions and infections. Under ultrasound guidance, we remove a small amount of amniotic fluid from the womb for testing. Amniotic fluid surrounds the baby and contains cells and proteins.
Fetal echocardiography is a type of pregnancy ultrasound that looks at the structure and function of your unborn baby's heart. Not all expectant mothers need a fetal echocardiogram.
Antenatal (before birth) testing uses ultrasound and fetal heart rate monitoring for surveillance of fetal well-being in the setting of pregnancy complications. Common pregnancy complications include:
- High blood pressure
- Poor growth of the baby
- Too much or too little amniotic fluid