Abnormality Tests in Pregnancy: Abnormality tests in pregnancy help to rule out potential abnormalities but they carry a risk of miscarriage.
Most parents would worry about the growth of their baby and whether there is any abnormality or not. Some want to unburden themselves of all their fears and talk all about it while others simply want to ignore thinking about the possibility of something being wrong. The best way to deal with the situation is to do abnormality screening with various pregnancy tests. These can detect structural abnormalities of the baby as well as chromosomal disorders.
There are a number of tests for pregnancy abnormalities but you do not need to take all of them for ensuring the health of your baby. In fact, abnormality screening in pregnancy depends on many factors which include what you feel about testing and the availability of facilities in your area.
Some of the tests for abnormality testing during pregnancy are:
- Amniocentesis: It is procedure for testing the fluid that surrounds the baby in the uterus. It is an invasive procedure in which a sample of fluid surrounding the baby is tested. The cells present in the fluid are examined for signs of congenital diseases such as spina bifida or Down’s syndrome. Your doctor would tell you the risk of infection to the uterus and a very small risk of miscarriage.
- Chorionic villus sampling (CVS) – This is an abnormality testing method in which the cells of the placenta are examined. This is a much more risky method as the chances of miscarriage are very high, around 2-3 percent. The advantage with this method is that it can be conducted before 12 weeks of pregnancy. Chorionic villus sampling (CVS) is a method for diagnosis of abnormality in the baby by sampling the cells of the placenta.
How to decide about taking abnormality tests
The completely harmless screening tests during pregnancy are ultrasound scans or blood tests. These tests would indicate whether your baby has chances of structural abnormalities or chromosomal abnormalities. For chromosomal abnormalities, doctors would ask for diagnostic tests such as those mentioned above. These tests carry a minute risk of miscarriage and parents need to decide whether conducting them is a good idea or not.
You should take the decision after discussing it with your partner, doctor, friends and midwife. Moreover, a different set of diagnosis and screenings are involved in ruling out inherited abnormalities such as sickle cell disease, thalassaemia, cystic fibrosis and Tay Sachs disease.
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