Questions to Consider | Obstetrics | Dartmouth-Hitchcock
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Questions to Consider

Your prenatal care team and/or a genetic counselor from our Prenatal Diagnosis Program can help you learn more about prenatal tests.

Some questions you may want to ask yourself before making a decision:

What do I want to know?

Some couples do not want to know if a baby has any medical conditions. Others want to have as much information as they can.

How worried am I?

What do you need to give you peace of mind about this pregnancy? Should you do screening tests first? If the screening is negative, making the chances of a problem less likely, would you be comfortable knowing that there is still a low remaining risk? If screening is positive, indicating a higher risk, would you pursue diagnostic testing? If not, you may want to skip the screening tests. Some people find that screening increases their anxiety and pushes them into having diagnostic testing that they were not considering in the first place.

Do I need a definite answer that only diagnostic testing can provide?

If so, it may be best to skip screening tests and go directly to diagnostic testing. Are you prepared to accept the small but real risk of miscarriage to obtain this information?

Am I more comfortable avoiding all testing?

Testing is not for everyone. It is important to consider how you would use this information, and what it would mean for your pregnancy, before considering any testing.

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