What you need to know about:

Screening Tests in Pregnancy


So you’ve had the positive pregnancy test, you’re over the moon/petrified/excited/scared. You’ve been to the doctor and they’ve given you loads of information to read. You may read it, you may not. Finally that day comes when you meet your midwife. Excited and nervous and wondering what the appointment will entail.

Well be prepared. Its a big long discussion with lots of questions, some of them quite complex and personal. The purpose of this you ask? It is so the midwife can help you best plan the type of care you should receive during your pregnancy. It’s all about healthy families.

Amongst other questions you’ll be asked which screening tests you want.


SCREENING = Detecting health risks.

Do you have to have them? No you don’t. However, they are offered because they allow health professionals to give you the best type of care depending on your health and/or health risks. They also allow you to make informed decisions about your health and that of your unborn baby.

Screening tests are not perfect. Sometimes they will tell you that you are high risk of something even though you don’t have the problem and sometimes that you are low risk of the problem but actually you do have it. If a screening test says you are high risk then you are usually offered a diagnostic test.

Who decides which tests are offered to pregnant women in the UK? The UK National Screening Committee (UK NSC) advises the NHS.

For more information on the tests themselves…

Screening Tests in Pregnancy – Infectious Diseases

Screening Tests in Pregnancy – Down’s Syndrome, Patau’s and Edwards Syndrome

Screening Tests in Pregnancy – The 20 week scan

Screening Tests in Pregnancy – Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia


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