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Birth Defects Testing - Types of Tests

You and your doctor can choose from several tests. What you choose depends on your wishes, where you are in your pregnancy, your family health history, and what tests are available in your area. You may have no tests, one test, or several tests.

Screening tests show the chance that a baby has a certain birth defect. Diagnostic tests show if a baby has a certain birth defect.

Screening testsWhen they are usually done

First-trimester screening (first part of integrated screening)

10 to 13 weeks

Nuchal translucency (usually done as part of the first-trimester screening)

11 to 14 weeks

Cell free fetal DNA (an option for women at higher risk)

10 weeks or later

Triple or quad screening (second part of integrated screening)

15 to 20 weeks

Ultrasound (pictures of baby's body)

18 to 20 weeks
Diagnostic testsWhen they are usually done

Chorionic villus sampling (CVS)

10 to 12 weeks


15 to 20 weeks

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: May 10, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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