A healthy pregnancy starts with expert prenatal care. CPMC’s Prenatal Diagnosis Center provides preconception guidance, thorough prenatal check-ups during each trimester and any tests you and your baby may need to spot potential problems. If you encounter challenges during your pregnancy, our maternal fetal specialists provide advanced care and the latest in diagnostic tests and imaging.
Compassionate and specially trained genetic counselors provide information and support, addressing concerns about birth defects or genetic diseases before or during pregnancy. Through the genetic counseling process, we keep in mind your values and family goals and support the choices you make surrounding prenatal testing. Many couples find that genetic counseling is helpful whether or not they decide to have prenatal testing.
Prenatal screening tests help identify an increased risk of certain chromosomal abnormalities like Down syndrome, selected inherited conditions like cystic fibrosis or thalassemia, or physical birth defects like spina bifida.
Each test has specific benefits and your genetic counselor will help you decide which test, if any, may be right for your pregnancy. Most screening tests are non-invasive and pose no risk.
Tests offered at our center include:
- Full Integrated Screen — Looks at first and second trimester markers to assess risk for anomalies. This test offers the highest detection rate for Down syndrome.
- Ultrasound — This harmless technology uses sound waves to create a visual image, helping to detect birth defects, check the number of fetuses, monitor fetal growth and more.
- Fetal Echocardiogram — Can detect serious congenital heart abnormalities.
- Targeted Ultrasound Examination — Used to examine a specific organ system or body part.
- Expanded Carrier Screening — Typically a blood test to determine increased risk of being a carrier for a genetic disease based on ethnic background.
- Non-Invasive Prenatal Screening (NIPS) — Blood test than analyzes DNA fragments to assess risk of chromosome abnormalities, such as Down syndrome.
CPMC’s Prenatal Diagnosis Center is fully accredited by the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine and the California Genetics Disease Branch.