You may be offered several prenatal tests throughout your pregnancy. Some tests are performed routinely on all pregnant women, such as blood tests to determine blood type and iron levels. Some tests are done to screen women for a condition they or their baby are at risk for developing. Other tests, such as Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS) and amniocentesis, are considerations for women 35 years of age and older or those who may be at risk of delivering a baby with certain birth defects. Some tests are done later in pregnancy to measure the baby’s well-being and to make sure that the baby is growing and developing at the expected rate.
The following is a brief description of some of the more common prenatal tests. Your healthcare provider, and sometimes a genetic counselor, can help you determine which tests might be recommended for your pregnancy and help you when making decisions.