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E. Prenatal Screening Test or Diagnostic Testing?

Narrator: This is Science Today. Prenatal screening tests are a routine part of pregnancy. Miriam Kuppermann, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of California, San Francisco, says choosing to have a screening test or opting for diagnostic testing, such as amniocentesis, is a very personal decision.

Kuppermann: I think it's important for women to realize that if they want to go testing, there are different options for them. And for many women, screening might be the right choice. It's where they can get sort of a better sense of the risk of carrying an affected fetus. But I think what's also important to know is that there are tests that can definitively diagnose the presence of a chromosomal abnormality.

Narrator: Diagnostic testing is usually reserved for women 35 years or older.

Kupperman: We are interested in doing a study actually to see what would happen if women were in fact offered all options - who is it that would chose to have the invasive test, who would chose to go first to screening, who would choose to decline testing altogether.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.