Pregnancy can be a very exciting time in a woman’s life, but it can also come with a great deal of uncertainty and anxiety. That’s why most physicians recommend prenatal screening, testing, and diagnosis between 15 and 22 weeks of pregnancy.
Prenatal diagnosis aims to help identify whether the mother or her unborn child has certain medical conditions. Knowing this information in advance helps families make informed decisions about their and their child’s medical care before and after birth.
What are the types of prenatal screening tests?
The Premier Family Medicine physicians at Pomona Valley Health Centers (PVHC) recommend a group of evidence-based, non-invasive blood tests called the prenatal panel for all pregnant women. These tests help identify whether your unborn child has any chromosomal abnormalities like Down’s or Turner Syndrome. We also recommend all pregnant women visit the Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center (PVHMC) perinatal team for standard women’s health services, like a prenatal screening exam. Types of prenatal screening tests include:
- First trimester blood test and ultrasound
To measure the size of the clear space in the tissue at the back of a baby’s neck (nuchal translucency). In Down syndrome and certain other conditions, the nuchal translucency measurement is abnormally large.
- Second trimester quad screen (blood test)
To measure levels of four substances in your blood. Results indicate your risk of carrying a baby with certain chromosomal conditions, such as Down syndrome. The test can also help detect neural tube defects (serious abnormalities of the brain or spinal cord).
If abnormalities are found, you will be referred to our in-house PVHMC perinatal team for further testing, which may include:
A medical procedure that uses a thin needle to remove a small amount of amniotic fluid from the sac surrounding your unborn baby. This fluid is then analyzed for abnormalities.
- Chorionic villus sampling
A medical procedure that uses a thin needle to remove a tiny tissue sample from the fetal part of the placenta for analysis, which contains the baby’s genetic information.
Does insurance cover prenatal diagnosis and genetic testing?
The cost of prenatal and genetic testing for pregnancy can range from less than $100 to over $1,000 per test. However, they’re typically covered by most major insurance plans. Insurance plans are more likely to cover prenatal and genetic testing if a pregnancy is considered high risk for a genetic or chromosome condition. Still, many tests are covered in low-risk pregnancies as well.
What is considered a high-risk pregnancy?
- Women older than 35
- Women with a history of miscarriage, preterm labor, or Cesarean delivery
- Women with a family history of a genetic disease or chromosomal disorder
- Women with pre-existing conditions like diabetes or phenylketonuria
- Women with an abnormal screening test or ultrasound
Contact Pomona Valley Health Centers at 909-378-9261 to learn more about women’s health services like prenatal diagnosis. We can help you have a happy, healthy pregnancy and delivery experience.