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What are prenatal tests?

A prenatal diagnostic test is used to diagnose certain birth defects, such as Down syndrome, during pregnancy. Diagnostic tests are offered to women who have a positive prenatal screening test, are over 35 years of age, have had a previous child with a birth defect or have a family history of a genetic condition. Prenatal diagnostic tests involve a small risk of miscarriage. Chorionic villus sampling (CVS) and amniocentesis are two of the more common diagnostic tests offered in hospitals.

Depending on your condition or screening results, you may have additional tests performed. Additional prenatal diagnostic tests might include a fetal echocardiogram, a nonstress test or ultrasound.

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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.