Second trimester screening tests occur between 14 and 18 weeks.
They can involve a blood test, which tests whether a mother is at risk for having a child with Down syndrome or neural tube defects, as well as an ultrasound.
When there’s more fluid than normal, this means there’s a higher risk of Down syndrome.
During the second trimester, a more detailed ultrasound, which is often called a fetal anatomy survey, is used to evaluate the baby carefully from head to toe for any birth defects.
A specialist physician (usually a radiologist) reviews the images and creates a report to send to your health care provider.
Your health care provider will then go over the results with you.
It’s safe to have an ultrasound while pregnant, but it is a medical procedure and should only be done for medical reasons.
Abnormal levels of either mean there’s a higher risk of a chromosome abnormality.
Women who have a higher risk of having a child with certain conditions are usually offered additional screening tests.
For example, pregnant women who’ve lived in regions where tuberculosis is common should have a tuberculin skin test.
Remember, ultrasounds are not always correct in determining the sex of your baby.
If you don’t want to know the sex of your baby, let your health care provider and the ultrasound technologist know.