Antenatal Screening

Antenatal Screening

Antenatal Screening

At our obstetric clinic, we strive to provide comprehensive antenatal counselling and diagnostic testing for fetal defects. These are invasive tests designed to confirm chromosomal and genetic disorders.

The decision as to whether to proceed with these invasive tests depends on each individual couple. We are committed to providing accurate information and support to help patients make the right choice.

Special screening is usually offered to women who have an increased risk of having an abnormal baby. This includes women who have had a previous child with Down Syndrome or other chromosomal disorders, women over 35 years old, or women who know that they or their baby’s father have an unusual chromosomal arrangement. It is not routinely offered to all women.

Amniocentesis

  • Amniocentesis involves obtaining amniotic fluid sample from the sac surrounding the fetus for testing. During this minimally invasive procedure, an ultrasound-guided fine needle is inserted into the womb through the abdomen. The fluid is then sent to a laboratory for analysis. Different tests can be performed on a sample of amniotic fluid, depending on the genetic risks and indications for the test.
  • This is usually performed between 16 - 20 weeks of pregnancy; and amniocentesis is associated with a 0.3% risk of miscarriage.
  • The results will usually be available within 2 weeks. In the unfortunate instance in which you have an abnormal result, we will gladly discuss the diagnosis and implications with you and give you ample time to make an informed decision as to the best course of action.
Amniocentesis

Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS)

  • The placenta supplies essential nutrients and oxygen to the growing fetus and also removes toxic waste products from the fetus’ blood. The placenta is composed of chorionic villi, which share the fetus’ genetic material.
  • A sample of chorionic villi is removed from the fetal placenta for testing during the CVS procedure. CVS can detect whether a fetus has chromosomal conditions such as Down Syndrome, as well as other genetic abnormalities like cystic fibrosis, thalassemia and sickle cell anemia.
  • Unlike amniocentesis, CVS can be carried out earlier (11 - 12 weeks), with results usually available in 7 - 10 days. CVS allows for earlier diagnosis if any abnormalities are found.
  • CVS is, however, associated with a higher risk of miscarriage (0.5 - 1%) than amniocentesis.
Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS)

Detailed Antenatal Ultrasound Scans

  • From 18 weeks up to about 24 weeks, a routine detailed fetal anomaly scan of the fetus’ spine, skull, brain, heart, lungs, kidneys, arms and legs is usually performed. This is done to ensure that all the major organs have developed normally.
  • Most women give birth to healthy babies but some might carry a small risk of having a baby born with structural problems, especially with advancing maternal age. This scan detects the majority of significant structural abnormalities. Apart from looking at fetal anatomy, fetal growth and placental position are also checked.
etailed Antenatal Ultrasound Scans

3D & 4D Scans

  • Our sister clinic, GynaeMD Women’s & Rejuvenation Clinic, performs 3D and 4D scans which are designed to give more lifelike views of what the developing fetus looks like. They should not be considered as replacements for routine prenatal scans during the second trimester. 3D & 4D scans are best performed between 26 - 30 weeks of pregnancy.
3D & 4D Scans

Fetal Wellbeing Assessment – Growth Scan, Doppler Studies

These tests comprise of ultrasound scans, fetal movement charts and cardiotocography, and are designed to assess fetal wellbeing.

  • Serial ultrasound scan measures the estimated fetal weight, fetal parameters (head circumference, abdominal circumference, femur length), amniotic fluid levels and placental location. It is performed from 24 - 41 weeks to exclude fetal macrosomia or growth retardation.
  • A colour doppler ultrasound scan, on the other hand, measures fetal blood circulation and umbilical cord blood flow, to ensure the correct direction of flow and determine placental function.
  • Fetal movement charts are performed by mothers at home by counting the number of fetal movements over a specific time period. This helps to reassure mothers that their baby is doing well. Mothers should see our obstetrician for any decrease in fetal movements.
  • Cardiotocography (CTG) is an electronic measurement of the fetal heart rate, which correlates to your baby’s wellbeing.
We understand your concerns and are committed to supporting you every step of the way.
We provide dedicated care to women at all stages in life. Contact us and we will be in touch soon.
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