The Health Library is a collection of health and wellness resources created for learning and accessibility. Select a topic below for related health information or search for a topic in the search bar for more information on other medical conditions.
- Amniotic Fluid Index
- Biophysical Profile (BPP) Test
- Birth Defects Testing
- Cell-Free Fetal DNA Test
- Chorionic Villus Sampling
- Contraction Stress Test
- Down Syndrome Screening
- Fetal Blood Sampling
- Fetal Fibronectin Test
- Fetal Heart Monitoring
- Fetal Ultrasound
- First-Trimester Screening
- Integrated Prenatal Screening
- Nonstress Test
- Nuchal Translucency Screening Test
- Obstetric Panel
- Preeclampsia Tests
- Quad Screening
- UVM Pregnancy Concepts
Prenatal Tests and Screening
Is this topic for you? This topic covers pregnancy information, including planning for labor and delivery. If you aren't pregnant yet, see the topic Preparing for a Healthy Pregnancy. For more information on labor and delivery, see the topic Labor and Delivery. What can you do to have a healthy pregnancy? You may...
Routine exams and tests At each prenatal visit, you can expect to be weighed and have your urine and blood pressure checked. Your health professional will monitor your fetus's growth and position by measuring the size of your uterus (fundal height) and feeling (palpating) your abdomen. If your fetus is not in the...
Regular prenatal exams are a top priority during any pregnancy. They are important both for monitoring your own and your fetus's health and for giving you and your health professional time to build a working relationship. If your pregnancy is going well, you will have a regular schedule of prenatal checkups. These will...
What are genes? Genes are the part of a body cell that contain the biological information that parents pass to their children. Genes control the growth and development of cells. Genes are made of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), a substance inside the center (nucleus) of cells that contains instructions for the...
Guides you through the decision to have screening tests to look for Down syndrome and birth defects. Discusses what the tests look for. Covers benefits and risks. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.
Guides you through the decision to have an amniocentesis test. Explains what amniocentesis is and how it is done. Discusses birth defects. Looks at the risks and benefits of amniocentesis. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.
Amniocentesis is a test to look at the fluid that surrounds your baby ( fetus) in the uterus. Amniotic fluid has cells and other substances that can give clues about the health of your fetus. For this test, a needle is put gently through your belly into your uterus. About 2 Tbsp (30 mL) of fluid is taken out and...
Discusses biophysical profile (BPP) or fetal biophysical profile (FBP), tests that measure a baby's health during pregnancy. Covers nonstress test with electronic fetal heart rate monitoring and fetal ultrasound. Discusses what results mean.
What is the first-trimester screening for birth defects? Near the end of the first 3 months of pregnancy (first trimester), a woman can have two types of tests to show the chance that her baby has a birth defect. When the results are combined, these tests are known as the first-trimester screening. They also may be...
What is the triple or quad screening? The triple screening measures the amounts of three substances in a pregnant woman's blood: alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), and estriol (uE3). When a test for the hormone inhibin A is added, it's called a quad screening. These tests are also called...
Routine exams At each prenatal visit during your first-trimester, you'll be weighed and have your blood pressure checked. Your urine may also be checked for bacteria, protein, or sugar. Your doctor will monitor your fetus's growth by measuring the height of your uterus (fundal height) above your pubic bone. Using a...
Routine exams and tests At each prenatal visit, you can expect to be weighed. Your blood pressure will be checked. Your urine may also be checked for bacteria, protein, or sugar. Your doctor or midwife will track your baby's growth and position. To do this, he or she will measure the size of your uterus (fundal height)...
What are birth defects tests? Birth defects tests are done during pregnancy to look for possible problems with the baby (fetus). Birth defects develop when something is wrong with genes or chromosomes, an organ, or body chemistry. A birth defect may have only a mild impact on a child's life, or it can have a major...