Prenatal screening is the set of diagnostic tests and the methods by which early intrauterine diagnosis of some fetal genital diseases is achieved. It gives parents the opportunity to have a healthy baby and protects them from the possibility of giving birth to a pathological fetus, as they can terminate pregnancy early.
Prenatal screening has evolved in recent years, as all pregnancy systems are monitored from the very first weeks of pregnancy, so that the health of the woman and the baby will not be affected.
The first major screening test at the beginning of pregnancy involves examinations such as:
- Blood group and rhesus factor
- Glycosylated hemoglobin and blood sugar levels
- Thrombophilia screening test
- Hemoglobin electrophoresis
- Sickle cell test
- Screening for toxoplasma, herpes, rubella, CMV, listeria, hepatitis,
- Thyroid control with TSH and thyroid antibodies
- Vaginal discharge culture
Still, screening for maternal cystic fibrosis, as the disease affects 1% of the Greek population and genetic testing for hereditary hear loss and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), which is considered one of the most common causes of infant mortality (1.2-1.3% of the population), are considered necessary.
Finally, we should not forget that all pregnant women during the first trimester should undergo dental examination, as there is a high rate of heart disease and miscarriages attributed to the teeth.
Pregnant women good candidates for prenatal screening are:
- Expectant mothers under the age of 16 or more than 35 years old, weighing less than 50 kg (malnutrition), smokers, receiving medication, suffering from anemia.
- Parents with chromosome abnormalities, with a previous child with chromosome abnormalities, sex-linked disorders, congenital metabolic disorders.
- Parents who have a family history of central nervous system open lesions.
- People with a history of reproductive problems (prolonged infertility, recurrent automatic abortions, IVF pregnancy).