Our Grapevine OBGYNs offer screening and diagnostic tests for birth defects
Despite reassurances that the great majority of babies are born with no complications, we know that parents worry about their baby’s health. Our Grapevine OBGYNs provide all patients with the option of pursuing prenatal screening and diagnostic tests for birth defects.
Screening tests for birth defects assess the risks
Most screening tests are performed after pregnancy, but our Grapevine OBGYNs also offer carrier screening to patients before conception. Carrier screening involves obtaining a sample of blood or saliva that is sent to a laboratory for analysis to determine whether or not you or your partner carry mutations that can lead to genetic disorders.
After pregnancy, blood tests for birth defects are performed during the first and second trimesters to assess the risk that your baby will have neural tube defects or a chromosome disorder such as Down syndrome.
Diagnostic tests provide information about whether or not the baby has a disorder
While our Grapevine OBGYNs offer diagnostic tests for birth defects to all patients, these tests are usually recommended to women when results of a screening test indicate that there may be a problem, or when a couple has risk factors for certain disorders.
Diagnostic tests can be more invasive than screening tests and can pose some pregnancy risks. The benefit of these tests is that they accurately detect all types of trisomy, which occurs when there is an extra chromosome such as Trisomy 21 (Down syndrome), or Trisomy 13 (Patau Syndrome). These tests for birth defects can also detect other chromosomal disorders, but not all.
The most common diagnostic test for birth defects is amniocentesis.
An amniocentesis is usually performed between weeks 15-20 of the pregnancy. During this test, our Grapevine OBGYNs obtain a very small sample of amniotic fluid from the amniotic sack to be analyzed in a laboratory. There is a slight risk for miscarriage with this procedure, but a miscarriage occurs only in .6% of cases.
Ultrasound for added peace of mind
Prenatal ultrasounds also provide reassurances that the baby is developing normally and bring to light any potential problems so that you and your OBGYN can make a plan. Up to 45% of cardiac anomalies can be detected with first trimester ultrasound, and our trained eyes study each organ, finger and toe to make sure that your baby is progressing toward a healthy start in life.
Our Grapevine OBGYNs offer compassionate support for every pregnancy, and we are always here to help if any of your tests for birth defects indicate a problem. If you want to feel supported and cared for during your pregnancy, contact us.