Published June 25, 2020 by Ichor Blood Services

Not sure what prenatal screening tests are and what they're used for? We've got the answers you need in this week's article below. 

Due to the growing demand for our corporate or large bookings and travel testing for COVID-19 antibody or active PCR test collection, our Prenatal Screening Services are on hold. 

Finding out you're pregnant can be one of the most exciting and nerve-wracking experiences of your life. From the moment you see the two lines on the test to delivery day, you'll be bombarded with information from every angle. While nothing can replace the advice given to you by your obstetrician, there are some helpful insights and resources online such as this guide to prenatal screening tests. Read on to find out more about them and whether you should seek any of them out.


Ichor has you covered

If you're looking for COVID-19 antibody testing in Calgary, Ichor Blood Services has you covered. We've recently begun accepting bookings for our COVID-19 serology antibody testing collection service. Your sample is then shipped to our laboratory testing partner, who will determine if you have potentially been exposed to the virus and now have the antibodies for it. For more information on our COVID-19 serology antibody testing collection service, click the button below. 


What are prenatal screening tests? 

Throughout the course of your pregnancy there will be numerous tests carried out to make sure you and your baby are healthy. Most prenatal screening tests fall under the category of routine and are done for every pregnant woman. Some examples of these tests include: 

  • Syphilis serology
  • Hepatitis B surface antigen
  • Varicella (chickenpox) immunity
  • Rubella immunity
  • HIV serology
  • ABO/Rh
  • Red blood cell (RBC) antibody screen

Most of the above tests are done to make sure the mother doesn't pass on any infectious diseases to their baby or is protected against infections herself. When it comes to varicella (chickenpox) and rubella immunity tests, these are done to make sure the mother is safe from being infected with either virus as they have been known to cause health problems or birth deformities in babies.

As for the ABO/Rh and red blood cell (RBC) antibody screen, these two tests are done to make sure the blood types of the mother and baby are compatible. If they're not, the mother's immune system may attack her developing baby as it perceives and recognizes it as a threat. 


First-trimester screening

This prenatal screening test also falls under the category of routine as every pregnant woman should receive it. Your first-trimester screening test will involve two blood draws and an ultrasound. Using the results from these two procedures, your doctor will be able to determine if you are at risk of carrying a baby with trisomy 21 (Down syndrome) or trisomy 18 (Edwards syndrome). If you are deemed to be at risk, further testing such as an amniocentesis may be ordered.

How do I know if I've received all the proper prenatal screening tests? 

While things differ from province to province in terms of how health care and prenatal screening tests are carried out, your obstetrician or primary health care provider should easily be able to give you an update on the tests you've had conducted and which ones you're soon due for.

So long as everything is going smoothly during your pregnancy there shouldn't be any need for additional screening tests. That being said, you're more than welcome to broach the subject with your obstetrician and ask them to conduct further testing if that is what you wish to do, whether for peace of mind or greater certainty. Your doctor will walk you through all the risks these additional tests present to both you and your baby so you may make an informed decision about whether to proceed with them.

Contact us

Ichor is offering corporate or large group bookings and travel testing for COVID-19 antibody or active PCR test collection. For more information about our COVID-19 test collection services, please give us a call at 1-844-424-6728 or fill out our contact form


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