Ultrasound and prenatal screening involve testing for diseases or conditions in a fetus or embryo before it is born. The aim is to detect birth defects such as neural tube defects, Down syndrome, chromosome abnormalities, genetic diseases and other conditions, such as spina bifida, Tay Sachs disease, sickle cell anemia, thalassemia, cystic fibrosis, and fragile x syndrome.
Screening can also be used for prenatal sex discernment which may be important in certain genetic disorders. Common testing procedures include amniocentesis, ultrasonography including nuchal translucency ultrasound, serum marker testing, or genetic screening. The earlier that risks are identified may maximize the outcome of your pregnancy.