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Prenatal testing is a term that describes many tests that are done during pregnancy. The tests provide information about your health and the health of your developing baby. Prenatal testing includes blood and urine tests and ultrasounds. In some cases, more invasive procedures may be recommended. Invasive tests may include sampling placental tissue, drawing fluid from the amniotic sac, or drawing fetal blood from the umbilical cord.

Prenatal tests can be used to identify many different things, including:

  • Treatable health problems in the mother that can affect the health of the fetus
  • Characteristics of the fetus, including size, age, placement in the uterus, and sex
  • Genetic, or chromosomal problems

In the mother, prenatal tests are used to identify things that could possibly affect the developing fetus, including:

Prenatal tests can screen for many different congenital defects in the fetus, including: