Prenatal testing is a routine part of seeing your obstetrician during pregnancy. Learn about the CVS test, amniocentisis, and more.
All About First Trimester Screening
Discover what these early tests look for—and why they're needed.
Learn how your doctor will confirm your pregnancy—and what else will happen at your first prenatal visit.
You'll get your first glimpse of your baby at this test, but doctors will be ensuring that everything's growing just as it should.
This simple test looks for potential cases of gestational diabetes, to help prevent complications in your pregnancy.
Chorionic villus sampling lets your doctor test for chromosomal abnormailties, such as Down Syndrome. Find out if this test is right for you.
Amnio can help diagnose chromosomal abnormalities, like Down Syndrome. Find out if you need this test.
-There was some concern, which is why we originally opted not to do it. Plus, I am of advanced maternal age as they say. I'm 39. I'm Donnabella Vicencio and this is my daughter Ava, and she's 5 weeks old. Originally, we decided-- my husband and I decided not to have an amnio and there were some things that came up on the ultrasound so we decided to have the amnio. -During that ultrasound, there were some findings on the ultrasound that we were suspicious for a couple of things. I'm Dr. Allan Fisher. I'm the director of Maternal-Fetal Medicine at Morristown Memorial Hospital here in New Jersey. Once they have that information, we-- they decided to have the amniocentesis and we had an answer actually back in a very short period of time. -She actually did have a variation of normal chromosomes, so we didn't meet with the genetic counselor. -Our genetic counselor as well as myself spent time with Donna and her husband talking about what that all meant and I-- and then as the pregnancy continued, we spent more time with them every time we saw them. -And Dr. Fisher did a lot of followup ultrasounds that she's doing great. -Amniocentesis actually means that you withdraw some of the fluid where the baby is swimming and using a needle and doing that. The needle itself is the same size as if we draw your blood. That's how thin it is. It's just longer because we need to get where we need to go and then we sent it to the lab and they grow cells from that amniotic fluid and they look at the chromosomes from there. The main things that we look for in the amniocentesis is looking at the chromosome number itself. We could also look for whether there's large pieces of the chromosomes that are moved, or deleted, or duplicated, or whether there's extra chromosomal material. We don't look at really small pieces that are deleted or duplicated and we don't look at the genes themselves. Now, if we have a suspicion that something is going on or we have a family history of that and we can test for it, we can do those tests as well. If you look at all children born in the United States and you say, "Okay, what's the percentage of them having some type of chromosomal or genetic problem?" It's about 3% of all newborns. At the time they're 5 to 7 years of age, that works up to about 7%. So, the systems itself, the genetic system itself, is about 93% efficient. -I barely even remember it. It was very quick. I don't really remember what they did and it didn't hurt very much at all like most people think it did. It was quick. -The procedure itself actually doesn't take very long. It takes about 10 minutes or so to setup for everything. And once in the sac, it takes about less than 30 seconds. So, when Donna says that it didn't really hurt very much, it generally doesn't. I tell people that they-- when they go into the skin, it's just like drawing blood. When the go through the uterus, it feels like menstrual cramps or flu shot in the arm. In general, the amniocentesis are approximately performed 16 weeks if they somebody knows that they wanna have it as an elective, but it can be done up to 22 weeks or even sometimes later than that as well. Typically, the way really [unk] normally 20 years ago was 3 to 4 weeks. Now, it's less than 2 weeks and like you can if we're looking for something very specific, get particular chromosomes and get that answer in 24 to 48 hours. Often times, we have to give bad news. And that is part of our training. I usually take a very straight administrative approach to talking to the patient. And when we do that where we are-- we have very specific information that we give the patients and we just don't let them walk out the door and so it's a continued relationship. So, just like for Donna, it was-- we saw that-- we saw Ava many times by ultrasound, following her, answering every question that she had as well as we could through every time that we saw the baby. -With my experience, I would do it if I was to get pregnant again. I would do the amnio even though originally I thought I wouldn't just to know if there's anything that might be wrong with the baby. I think it pays to know in advance so you can do research and be prepared for a child that might have something different.
-Hi, I'm Dr. Jamie Grifo the program director for the NYU Fertility Center. Were gonna be talking about the ethical issues and methodologies involved in gender selection and family balancing. There's been a lot of interest in gender selection. Most of the patients who really seek it are the patients who have 1 or 2 children of 1 gender and they wanna have 1 more child but they don't wanna have yet another girl or yet another boy. It's more of the family balancing group of patients who really are most interested. There are a number of techniques now that are really accurate that work really well but they're really high tech, they require a lot of technology and a lot of involvement and cost. The one technique that works the best is the most accurate. It involves in vitro fertilization and doing a genetic test of the embryo. There are times when patients have 2 boys, they want a girl and they're doing IVF anyway. That group of patients is the main group that we use. But we don't do this routinely. This is not something that's that commonly done because it is so involved because it does require in vitro fertilization. It does require weeks of injections and medicines. It does require an egg retrieval that's a minor surgical procedure and then embryo testing and the cost of this procedure add it all up is somewhere in the 12 to 15,000 dollar range. It's very expensive. The patient who had 2 girls at home in bed easily often come and seek a consult. But when they hear what they have to go through, what it costs and how effective it is, i.e. success rate wise, a lot of them choose not to do it just because it's not what they thought it was. Because you read an article and you can choose the sex of your baby and the fine print is missing, that it costs a lot of money, its only 40% effective, it has really high accuracy but it's a lot to do for a lot of money and not get pregnant. And so I think when people hear that, a lot of people choose not to do it. Short of this technique, there are other techniques that are out there, the so called sperm spinning techniques. Some people use those techniques but they are quite involved. They require artificial insemination and the technology to spin the sperm or sort the sperm is pretty sophisticated. And really, there is only place in the country that's actually on track for FDA approval. But even that technique, only enriches the sperm population for the desired gender to somewhere in the 80% range. None of those are 100% like the genetic testing of embryos is. Some of the techniques that involve the sperm sorting technologies that then use artificial insemination, per months try is about a 10% pregnancy rate. So, it may take you multiple attempts and that may require lots of effort and time. I don't take any of this technology lightly. For someone who wants to have their first child, is it really worth it to do all this extra testing to micromanage that aspect. Why not just have a healthy baby and not worry about it plus this technology, if you'd use it using IVF, you only have half as many embryos of the desired gender. You're gonna lower your chance of success. It's not the goal of what we're trying to do. We're trying to help people have a baby. Every day I go to work and I have the opportunity and the gift of being able to help change someone's life because a couple that can't have a baby, when all of the sudden, we have that miracle happen. And we're not making miracles, I'm just helping nature make miracles. The at home methods, a lot of them don't really have the science to back the claims. There's no harm in trying these things. I mean, I don't think you're gonna harm your baby but I just don't think they work. So I think some people are getting a false sense of security that they're doing this. But if it adds and makes it more fun and power to it, then they'll go for it. -Hi, my name is Laurie Coles and my husband's name is Guy. Caleb is 11 and Julius is 8 and about 3 years ago, we decided to add a 3rd to our lovely family. We have 2 girls and we're thinking [unk] boys. So were really looking into different methods that would help us to conceive a boy. The first method we tried was the coffee. A cup or two 15 to 20 minutes before because the theory is that the caffeine will help stimulate the sperm production. Another method that we tried was our basal body temperature. It's for the BBT and the theory is that if your temperature is at its lowest and then it starts to increase, they believe then that's the time that the woman is ovulating. Hey Guy. Yeah, my temperature's running. Okay. Can you get home? Another method that we also tried was conception positions that they strongly believed that to help facilitate that the boys [unk] during ovulation was different sexual positions and it's to help deeper penetration to help with the conception. So with all the effort we put into this, here is our 3rd child Sara. She is the apple of daddy's eye. -Thank you for watching Parents TV. Our families, our lives.
Learn what to expect during this prenatal test that every pregnant woman should have at least once.