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What is prenatal diagnosis?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

Prenatal diagnosis is a term that includes a variety of techniques to assess the health and well-being of the unborn fetus. Frequently used prenatal diagnostic techniques are:

  • Ultrasound
  • Amniocentesis
  • Chorionic villus sampling

The types of conditions that can be diagnosed with prenatal diagnosis include neural tube disorders and chromosome abnormalities, such as Down syndrome, Tay Sachs disease and fragile x syndrome.

The findings of prenatal diagnosis are useful in allowing parents to make informed decisions and in managing the remaining weeks of the pregnancy including planning for possible complications with the birth or with the neonate.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.