Pregnancy Screening Tests & Why

Why Screening Matters

Screening can tell you if there is a probability that you need to consider. It could reveal a syndrome or congenital abnormality that cannot be treated. Although some parents prefer not to know, we want you to have the option to find out as much as possible about your baby. Having this information can help you to make the right decision for your family, whether that is to terminate the pregnancy or to prepare yourselves to support a child with additional needs.

Which Pregnancy Screening Tests Should You Have?

The screening tests you need will depend on the risk factors affecting you and your baby. For example, you may want a blood test to find out if you’re carrying a congenital disorder such as sickle cell anaemia if you are in a high risk group. We can advise you on which tests are appropriate for you, but the most common options are:

  • Nuchal ultrasound with mother's blood test (the combined test) to check for Down’s, Patau’s and Edward’s syndromes
  • Abnormality scan to screen for problems with the heart, brain, spine and other major structures
  • NIPT such as the Harmony, Panorama or SAFE blood tests to assess the risk of certain chromosomal abnormalities.

What Do The Results Mean?

It is very important to understand that these are screening and not diagnostic tests. If a problem is detected during your routine pregnancy screening tests, you will be able to discuss the results with one of our consultants. The doctor will explain what the results mean and how reliable they are. Many of the screening tests carried out during pregnancy can only tell you the risk of a particular problem. If it is the combined nuchal ultrasound and bio-chemistry test that is high probability then a more accurate screening test such as the NIPT can be used to confirm the results. You’ll have a chance to discuss your options with the doctor, including any additional tests or treatments that are available. The maximum reassurance can only be obtained from an Amniocentesis or Chorion Villous sample. Unfortunately these invasive tests also carry a risk of miscarriage.

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137 Harley Street, London W1G 6BF
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Regent’s Park
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Talbot Road, Talbot Road, Alderley Edge, Cheshire SK9 7HR
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