The importance of screening
A prenatal screening test is a safe technique used for determining the fetus’s risk of being affected by certain medical conditions, including Down syndrome. Several types of prenatal screening tests are currently available. In all cases, the result is a probability, not a certainty.
A low risk on a prenatal screening test does not mean that the fetus doesn’t have the condition, but rather that the probability is low. Similarly, a high risk doesn’t necessarily mean that the fetus has a trisomy, but that the risk is higher. At this point, a prenatal diagnostic test can be done to determine whether or not the fetus is affected.
Some couples will choose to have a prenatal screening test to obtain more information about the health of the fetus without jeopardizing the pregnancy. The decision whether or not to have a prenatal screening test, as well as the type of test used, is a personal one.