know the facts

Prenatal testing is made available because of the small risk all women have of having a baby with a major problem. While the majority of babies are born without any abnormality, 3-4% of pregnancies result in babies with abnormalities.

tips about prenatal testing:

  • Some, but not all, fetal abnormalities can be detected during pregnancy.
  • No single test checks for everything.
  • There are different types of tests available that vary in how accurate they are, when they are performed, and what information they provide.
  • Screening tests give a risk result, not a diagnosis. It is not a yes or no result.
  • Women usually decide to have testing for one or more reasons:
    1. They want to know more about their pregnancy.
    2. They want time to prepare for a baby with special needs.
    3. They want the option of terminating.

About Down Syndrome:

  • The result of an extra chromosome 21 (Trisomy 21).
  • The most common chromosomal abnormality (1 in 400 pregnancies).
  • Many pregnancies with this abnormality end in miscarriage.
  • Most individuals with Down syndrome have mild to moderate level intelligence, but others can be severely disabled. The level of disability cannot be predicted during the pregnancy.
  • The majority of babies born with Down syndrome are born to younger mothers.
  • There is no known cure, but educational interventions can help maximize a child's potential.

About Edward Syndrome:

  • The result of an extra chromosome 18 (Trisomy 18).
  • Less common than Down syndrome (1 in 1600 pregnancies).
  • These pregnancies usually miscarry.
  • Babies born with this condition don't usually live long.
  • All babies with Edward syndrome have significant developmental problems.
  • The risk of having a baby with Edward syndrome increases with age, but can happen to women of all ages.