What are the different pre-natal tests

Pre-natal test are extremely important as they help in analyzing the well-being of the fetus. They help the doctor in ensuring that the baby s developing normally. Some of the common pre-natal tests include ultrasound, multiple marker screening, CVS — chorionic villus sampling, amniocentesis etc.

Ultrasound allows the doctor to get pictures of the embryo as it gets developed within the womb. The bouncing sound waves sent into the uterus create a picture of the embryo. This test helps in confirming the due date of delivery, measuring the cervical length, detecting abnormalities etc. it also provides a reliable picture regarding the position of the foetus and also that of the placenta. Since no X-rays are involved, this is considered as a safe procedure.

Multiple Marker Screening test is also referred to as triple or quadruple screen. This test is usually done before the twentieth week of pregnancy. The sample blood taken from the pregnant woman is used for ruling out the possibility of Down syndrome, spina bifida, and other birth defects.

Chorionic villus sampling, or simply CVS, is that prenatal test which examines the tissue that attaches the fetus to the uterus wall. This test normally gets done within the twelfth week of pregnancy. This is an absolutely painless test, though some women might experience slight spotting for a couple of days after the test. However infection is likely in some women.

Amniocentesis is yet another type of prenatal testing, through which the amniotic fluid gets examined. By analyzing the amniotic fluid collected from the protective sac that surrounds the fetus, birth defects are brought to light. This test is usually done between the fifteenth and eighteenth weeks of pregnancy. This is especially done if your elder child happened to suffer from some major birth defect.

Though generally painless, some women experience slight discomfort as the long thin needles get inserted to collect the fluid. Though almost safe, a slight chance of infection exists in this mode of prenatal test as well.


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