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Screening tests

During your pregnancy you’ll be offered a range of screening tests. These tests are designed to:

  • Help make your pregnancy safer
  • Check and assess the development and wellbeing of you and your baby
  • Screen for particular conditions

Screening in pregnancy is offered for a range of conditions including:

  • Sickle Cell & Thalassaemia
  • Rubella ( ceasing in April 2016)
  • Syphilis
  • Hepatitis B
  • HIV
  • Down’s, Edward’s and Patau’s Syndrome
  • Mid pregnancy ultrasound – physical abnormalities

After your baby is born, screening tests are offered for:

  • Heart, eyes, hips & testes – Physical Examination
  • Bloodspot screening for 9 treatable conditions
  • Hearing loss

They can be carried out in a number of ways including urine tests, blood pressure tests, blood tests and ultrasound scans. If you choose to have them, tests are carried out as part of your appointment schedule.

You don’t have to have any of the tests, however it’s important to understand the purpose of all tests so that you can make an informed decision about whether to have them. You can discuss the tests with your midwife and ask questions about them at any time.

More information can be found in the publication Screening Tests For You And Your Baby’, which is available to download in leaflet format from the UK National Screening Committee and is available in 12 different languages as well as an easy to read version. You can also visit the NHS Choices website for further information about antenatal checks and tests.