Prenatal Testing or Screening

For a healthy outcome.

Prenatal Testing or Screening

For a healthy outcome.

The thought of prenatal testing the health of your baby while still in the womb after you have already been through a lengthy process to become pregnant can be scary.

At Markham Fertility Centre, we will guide you through the early stages of your pregnancy. Our affiliation with Markham-Stoufville Hospital provides access to some of the top obstetric care in the country.

About Prenatal Testing or Screening

Prenatal testing can be performed during pregnancy to identify those pregnancies with an increased chance of a chromosomal condition. Most chromosomal conditions are sporadic, meaning that they happen just by chance. Some chromosomal conditions are related to increasing age of the egg at time of fertilization while other chromosomal conditions appear to be occurring at similar rates at any age.

Prenatal screening is not diagnostic, meaning it can only determine whether a baby is likely to have specific health conditions or chromosomal abnormalities.  If a result indicates there is a high likelihood of occurrence, further testing would be required to determine with certainty whether your baby has the condition in question.

While all patients can choose to have prenatal screening as part of their early pregnancy care, it may be most useful for those who:

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    Are 40+ years old at the time of delivery (based on age at time of egg retrieval for IVF conceptions)

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    Have had a prior pregnancy affected by a chromosome condition

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    Have not had prior chromosome screening (i.e. conceived spontaneously, via IUI or via IVF without PGT-A)

The two main types of prenatal testing or screeing are:

Prenatal screening can provide timely and valuable information about the health of your baby.

Your Prenatal Testing Journey Begins Here

Now that you are pregnant, it is hard to think about doing more tests.  You may or may no require all of the tests highlighted below. We provide information in the journey below only to indicate when certain tests are performed.  Your fertility doctor will continue monitoring yours and your baby's health during the first trimester and will recommend tests based on your individual circumstances.

Early Obstetric Ultrasounds - 7 to 9 Weeks gestation

Following a positive bhCG (pregnancy test) you will have an ultrasound at around 7 and 9 weeks gestation to determine the location of the pregnancy, the number of babies and calculate your estimated due date.

Nuchal Translucency (NT) Ultrasound - 11 to 13 weeks gestation

All pregnant individuals are recommended to have an NT ultrasound between 11 and 13 weeks gestation. If you choose to have Enhanced First Trimester Screening (eFTS), this blood work will be done after the ultrasound is complete. Results are usually expected in 7-10 business days.

Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS) - 12 to 14 weeks gestation

If your prenatal screening results showed a high risk for a chromosomal condition, a CVS can be performed between 12 and 14 weeks gestation. During this procedure a sample of the placenta is taken for diagnostic testing.

Amniocentesis - 15 to 20 weeks gestation

If your prenatal screening results showed a high risk for a chromosomal condition, an amniocentesis can be performed after 15 weeks gestation. During this procedure a sample of the amniotic fluid is taken for diagnostic testing.

Anatomy Ultrasound - 19 to 20 weeks gestation

All pregnant individuals are recommended to have a detailed ultrasound between 19 and 22 weeks gestation. This ultrasound will look at the baby’s growth, organ development, placenta and amniotic fluid levels. This ultrasound is typically arranged by your obstetrician or midwife as you will have graduated from MFC by this point!

Genetic Testing Services Provided by Markham Fertility Centre

Carrier Screening

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Prior to conception, often for those at risk of transferring a genetic disorder.

Preimplantation Genetic Testing (PGT)

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After IVF, testing of an embryo to help eliminate those with genetic abnormalities.

Prenatal Screening

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During pregnancy to identify whether your baby is more or less likely to have certain birth defects.

Common Questions About Prenatal Testing or Screening

Knowledge is power.