Prenatal tests are administered throughout the duration of any pregnancy. You’ll experience tests that are considered common and routine. However, you may also be advised to undergo some advanced prenatal testing. And which tests you’ll undergo is completely dependent on your specific situation and your needs and the needs of your growing baby. Sometimes doctors will order more advanced tests during your pregnancy because of a result from a more common prenatal test.

Below is a small sampling of some of the advanced prenatal tests that your doctor may recommend, or that you’d like your doctor to use.

Advanced Paternity Test: Whether you need to confirm paternity for yourself or for a court or judge, advanced paternity testing can be done on your growing fetus. In order for it to work, the doctor must have samples from you, the unborn child, and the alleged father. Generally, your doctor can collect the sample of placenta tissue from the baby between the tenth and thirteenth week. However, a more in-depth sample can be taken between fourteen and twenty-four weeks, which is taken from the amniotic fluid rather than the placenta. Remember that both of these advanced tests must be performed by an OB/GYN who’s certified.

Nuchal Translucency: This test is used to determine if your growing child has a chromosomal abnormality. This type of abnormality could be an indicator for Down Syndrome. While the nuchal translucency screening cannot provide a diagnosis, it can help your doctor determine if your child is at high risk. This provides you with the opportunity and time to prepare. Every fetus has fluid at the back of his or her neck. This fluid is what’s tested during the nuchal translucency screening. It is usually performed during the 11th to 14th week of pregnancy.


Chorionic Villus Sampling: Done early in your pregnancy, chorionic villus sampling can help detect genetic disorders, such as hemophilia, cystic fibrosis, sickle cell, or Tay-Sachs disease, that run in the families of either the mother or the father. This test is also recommended for women who are over 35 when they conceive. Within the placenta, the chorionic villi– small growths that are finger-shaped– are tested.

Percutaneous Umbilical Blood Sampling: As the name describes, this test is performed by extracting a sample from the umbilical cord. It can be used to test for chromosomal issues, genetic defects, and blood infections. This test cannot be completed until after the 18th week of your pregnancy. Some women experience minor pain or cramping after the procedure.

Advanced or specialized prenatal tests can cause alarm, fear, and confusion. Instead of entertaining those feelings, think of it in a more positive light. Some of these tests, and many others like them, help you to understand your growing child, his or her possible issues or setbacks, and provide you with the information you need to effectively prepare for possible outcomes. It truly is a modern miracle that our scientific and medical advancements can provide parents with this crucial information.