First trimester screening is a combination of fetal ultrasound, Nuchal Translucency (NT) and maternal blood testing performed during the first trimester of pregnancy. This screening process can help to determine the risk of the fetus having certain birth defects. Screening tests may be used alone or in combination with other tests. When used together, nuchal translucency (NT) screening and maternal blood tests have a greater ability to determine if the fetus might have a birth defect.
If the results of these first trimester screening tests are abnormal, genetic counseling is recommended. Additional testing such as chronic villus sampling (CVS), amniocentesis, cell-free fetal DNA, or other ultrasounds may be needed for accurate diagnosis.
The decision to accept or decline any fetal screening is completely yours. You may wish to consult with a certified genetic counselor before consenting to any test. Ask your healthcare provider for information about genetic counseling resources that are available to you. You can also find a genetic counselor through the National Society of Genetic Counselors at www.nsgc.org.