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Some prenatal screening tests are routine and occur throughout your pregnancy to help you and your doctor monitor your health and the health of your baby. These tests may also signal when a problem arises and can help determine the best course of treatment.

Depending on your family medical history and your level and type of risk, your doctor may offer you different diagnostic and screening tests.

  • Carrier Screening

    For some genetic disease, such as cystic fibrosis, spinal muscular atrophy and sickle cell disease, both parents must be carriers in order to have an affected child. Carrier screening is performed on one or both parents to determine if they carry these inherited conditions.

  • Cell Free DNA Screening

    Cell-free DNA screening screens for Down syndrome, trisomy 18 and trisomy 13. This test may also screen for conditions with an extra or a missing X or Y chromosome.

  • Level II Ultrasound

    The level II ultrasound (anatomy scan) is typically performed around 20 weeks of pregnancy to screen for birth defects.

  • Prenatal Diagnostic Tests

    In contrast to screening tests that determine a level of risk that problems may occur, diagnostic tests are designed to determine if a problem is present.

  • Down Syndrome Screening

    Penn Obstetrics offers screening and diagnostic tests during pregnancy to assess a baby's chances of having Down syndrome.

  • Sequential Screening

    Penn Obstetrics offers sequential screening, a prenatal test that estimates the chance that a baby will be born with Down syndrome, trisomy 18, or an open neural tube defect.

  • Multiple Marker Screening Test (MMS)

    During your pregnancy, one of the tests your Penn obstetrician may perform is called the Multiple Marker Screening Test (MMST).

  • Neural Tube Defect Screening

    Penn obstetricians can perform tests to determine the chance of your baby having a neural tube defect, or spina bifida.

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