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What are fetal diagnostic procedures?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

Fetal Diagnostic Procedures include a variety of assessments and test that examine the fetus or structures surrounding the fetus during the pregnancy. The focus of these procedures is testing for diseases or conditions in a fetus or embryo. Some examples of fetal diagnostic procedures include ultrasound, chorionic villus sampling, amniocentesis, maternal serum screening and percutaneous umbilical cord blood sampling.

There are three purposes of obtaining information from fetal diagnostic procedures: (1) to enable timely medical or surgical treatment of a condition before or after birth, (2) to give the parents the chance to abort a fetus with the diagnosed condition, and (3) to give parents the chance to "prepare" psychologically, socially, financially, and medically for a baby with a health problem or disability, or for the likelihood of a stillbirth.

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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.