Prenatal tests are tests are done during pregnancy to track the health of you and your baby. The tests can find many health problems early. Screening tests include ultrasounds, and blood and urine tests. They pose little risk to you and your baby. Further testing can be done if a problem is found. Samples can be taken from the placenta, amniotic fluid, or the baby's umbilical cord.

Tests can be used to look for:

  • Treatable health problems in the mother that can harm the baby's health such as:
  • Protection from certain health problems such as chickenpox or German measles
  • Size, age, and sex of the baby
  • How and where the baby is placed in the uterus
  • Problems with genes

Tests can show problems in the genes that may point to:

Some birth defects can be found with these tests. Only some of these can be treated before birth or just after birth. Keep in mind prenatal tests do not test for everything. No prenatal test guarantees the birth of a healthy baby.

Why is prenatal testing performed?What are the different types of prenatal tests?What questions should I ask my doctor about prenatal testing?Where can I get more information about prenatal testing?

Revision Information

  • Reviewer: EBSCO Medical Review Board Mary-Beth Seymour, RN
  • Review Date: 05/2019 -
  • Update Date: 07/02/2019 -