Antenatal screening is used to identify any possible risks to the mother or foetus during pregnancy or to identify health issues that will affect the baby.
If a risk is identified, then further tests can be carried out and a prenatal diagnosis given.
Different techniques are used for a range of purposes.
Pregnant women are routinely given two ultrasound scans during their pregnancy:
Regular checks are carried out on the mother’s urine and blood to monitor concentrations of marker chemicals which can identify a possible condition.
These chemicals vary normally during pregnancy. This is why they are used in conjunction with scans, as measuring chemicals at the wrong time can lead to a false positive result.