Diagnostic Testing in Pregnancy
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Diagnostic Testing in Pregnancy

– [Narrator] Diagnostic
testing in pregnancy provides patients with
a specific diagnosis. Diagnostic testing is most often performed for patients who have an increased risk for a specific condition, possibly due to advanced maternal age, abnormal screening results, birth defects detected by
ultrasound, or family history. Anyone can have diagnostic testing. Diagnostic testing requires the collection of tissue or cells from the pregnancy. This is more than a blood draw from mom. In the first trimester, the available invasive procedure is called a chorionic villus sampling, or CVS. This is a sampling of the chorionic villi, a type of placental tissue, usually done between 10
to 14 weeks gestation. This test is often done through the cervix like a pap smear, though it can also be done with a needle through the abdomen into the uterus. In the second trimester,
after 15 weeks gestation, an amniocentesis can be performed. An amniocentesis includes
placing a needle into the abdomen into the sac of fluid
that surrounds the baby. Fluid can be collected
without touching the baby. In this fluid are fetal cells that can be used for diagnostic testing. Ultrasound is used during both
the CVS and amniocentesis. These procedures are typically performed at specialized centers. Most women who have an invasive procedure have no complications. The risk for miscarriage when these procedures are
performed by experienced providers is typically significantly less than .5%. Once the sample is collected, a number of different diagnostic
tests can be performed. The type of testing performed depends on the reason a
woman is having testing. The most common testing performed
following a CVS or amnio is testing for chromosome
abnormalities in the baby. Diagnostic testing provides
a yes or a no answer. Diagnostic testing is more complicated than screening testing and should be reviewed with
a healthcare professional. If you wish to learn more
about diagnostic testing, your physician may have you
meet with a genetic counselor to discuss this option in more detail. (gentle music)

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