In addition to regular ultrasounds, there are a number of routine prenatal tests that I recommend having at the beginning of the pregnancy. They are all screening tests. This means I am not particularly concerned that you might have these conditions, only that they are conditions commonly seen in pregnant women and are important to the outcome of the pregnancy.
- Full blood count (FBE)
- Blood group and antibody screen
- Infectious disease screen (Hepatitis B & C, HIV, syphilis, varicella and rubella)
- Urine test for infection (MSU)
- Thyroid test (TSH)
- Vitamin D level
- Cervical screening test (if due)
In special circumstances, I’ll also recommend other prenatal tests and will discuss them with you as needed.
- Down syndrome screening
- Neural tube defects
It is now possible to check if your baby has a chance of inheriting some genetic conditions. This type of test is known as carrier screening and it determines if either parent is carrying a certain genetic variant that they could pass on to the baby, which could cause a serious health condition.
The conditions that testing is currently available for are:
- Cystic fibrosis
- Spinal muscular atrophy
- Fragile X syndrome.
The standard genetic screening test costs about $350 per person tested for all three conditions. It is usual to test the mother or the father first, then arrange testing for the partner if a copy of the gene is found, so there is potential that both parents would need the test.