Screening is the process of identifying women and babies who may be at an increased risk of a disease or condition and may require further information, tests and treatment.
Screening is important as it can save lives or improve quality of life through early risk identification and/or reduce the risk of developing a serious condition or its complication.
What screening tests will I be offered in pregnancy?
During your pregnancy, you will be offered a range of screening tests, including blood tests and ultrasound baby scans. They are designed to help make your pregnancy safer, check and assess the development and wellbeing of you and your baby, and screen for particular conditions.
You do not have to take any of the tests. However, it is important to understand the purpose of all of them so that you can make an informed decision about whether to take them. Discuss this with your maternity team.
Prior to your booking in appointment you should access the digital information about the screening tests that are offered to you and your baby. This information can be found here. It is important to read the information and inform your midwife of any relevant conditions that you, your partner or your immediate families may have. The online information is available in English and nine other languages.
You can find out more about each of the different screening tests by clicking on the links below:
Ultrasound baby scans
It is recommended that all pregnant women in England are offered a minimum of two ultrasound scans during pregnancy. At the first antenatal appointment you will be offered an early pregnancy scan. This should take place after eight weeks and before 13+6 weeks of pregnancy. The purpose of the scan is to assess how many weeks pregnant you are, the number of babies you are having and check your baby’s wellbeing.
At 18+0 and 20+6 weeks pregnant you will be offered an anomaly scan. Its purpose is to look for any structural abnormalities (problems) your baby may have.