The key to understanding prenatal ‘screening’ tests is to focus on the word ‘screening’. Screening tests can not tell you for sure whether or not the baby will have a genetic problem at birth. Only a diagnostic test like amniocentesis or CVS (see ‘Related Topics’ below) can tell you that with certainty. Rather, the goal of screening tests is to identify women who may be at higher risk for having a baby with a particular problem. A good screening test can identify which patients may benefit from further counseling and discussion. Every situation is different, but a woman at higher risk for an affected pregnancy may be offered diagnostic testing to confirm whether or not a problem is truly present.
Note: Despite improved performance compared to standard screening, NIPS should still be considered a screening test only
Locate a Genetic Counselor or Genetics Services:
Locate a Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialist
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