Being pregnant is one of the beautiful phases in every woman’s life, but going through it is not always a smooth ride. On consulting your gynaecologist, you will be advised to take certain tests in each semester to keep a check on you and your baby.

Prenatal testing includes a screening and diagnostic test that can be very valuable in providing all the information required for conceiving a healthy baby even before it is born. However, the question is, are these screenings necessary or right for you?

Let us understand types, risk and benefits involved in prenatal testing

The pregnancy phase comes with a lot of anticipation and anxiety, where women are constantly worried about their baby’s health. This is why understanding about the baby’s well-being can be very helpful.

Types of testing

There are two types of prenatal testing which are usually parts of your pregnancy care plan.

Screening test

These tests include obtaining information related to any kind of birth defect and genetic disorders. Usually, these screenings are done through a blood test, ultrasound and DNA screening. These tests are usually advised during the 1st and 2nd trimester. If your screening test indicates the presence of any kind of defect, your health practitioner will advise a diagnostic test to confirm the results.

Diagnostic tests

If there is some indication of an abnormality in the screening test, the doctor will advise you to go for a diagnostic test. Usually, if there are age factors, family history or any medical history that suggests the occurrence of genetic problems, then going for a prenatal diagnostic test is advisable. These tests can detect even the slightest chance of a miscarriage.

Kind of prenatal screening test:

First-trimester test

During your first trimester, the doctor will advise a blood test and ultrasound to measure and keep a track on the baby growth. This blood test measures the levels of two proteins. High levels indicate that the baby has a high risk of a chromosomal abnormality. With the help of an ultrasound, the thickness of the space in the back of the baby's neck is checked. Extra fluid in the back of the neck may point to a higher-than-average risk of a chromosomal disorder.

Second-trimester test

Your gynaecologist during your second trimester will go for another blood test known as the quad screen. These tests measure four different substances present in your blood, which can easily indicate the presence of chromosomal conditions, neural tube defects or any other serious defects in the brain and spinal cord.

DNA screening: The blood test is also used for examining any kind of defect present in the DNA and to see whether the baby is carrying the rhesus blood type.

Things to consider

These prenatal tests are optional, but deciding whether to go for it or not is very necessary. So before you decide, here are few things to consider:

What will you do after getting the results

Positive results drawn from the tests will help lowering down your anxiety whereas if the results show any defect, then you would be in the position of making some tough decisions. Your gynaecologist will guide you regarding whether you should continue with the pregnancy or plan assistance regarding child-care.

Will getting a test will change your prenatal care

Many times the problems detected by these tests can be easily cured. Your health practitioner will start a course of treatment to cure the condition immediately before it gets complicated further. Or they will come up with a treatment plan to attend the condition immediately after birth.

Accuracy of result

There is no guarantee if the results are 100 percent correct. They can sometimes reflect false results. This varies from test to test.

What are the different risks involved

Decide what is important to you: not knowing versus knowing the result. Weigh the risk of both decisions.

Summing up

Whether to go for the test or not is entirely up to you. For help regarding decision making, you can go for pregnancy counselling and care consultation with your doctor who will brief you about positive or negative outcomes. You can even consult a genetic counsellor to understand the consequences and decide which test you can choose and which ones aren’t necessary for you.

Do not be hasty while making this decision. Take your time and choose what is best for you and your baby.

Author's Bio: 

Rajat Sahoo, is a blogger and have years of experience of the domain. I love to read and write about latest and useful tips for Clothing, Fashion, Health and Lifestyle.