Antenatal Screening

Definition - What does Antenatal Screening mean?

Antenatal screening is testing for health issues that commonly occur in fetuses. In addition to routine health screening, for embryos conceived with assisted reproductive technology, antenatal screening typically includes genetic testing.

Antenatal screening may also be known as prenatal screening.

FertilitySmarts explains Antenatal Screening

The most common testing done includes testing mothers for diabetes, high blood pressure, and bacterial colonization, which could harm the fetus, and screening fetuses for common genetic disorders including Down Syndrome.

Antenatal screening may include additional testing for additional risk factors that providers identify. The specific tests vary based on recommendations from different countries or states and based on individual patient risk factors. The goal of screening is to identify significant health issues, to optimize management during and after pregnancy.

Antenatal screening typically includes vital sign measurements, maternal blood and urine testing, ultrasounds, and sometimes amniocentesis. Embryos transferred via in vitro fertilization (IVF) that are at risk for genetic anomalies, and can undergo additional antenatal screening including preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) to look for for genetic problems.

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