Prenatal Testing In-Depth: Talking to Your Doctor
You have a unique medical history. Therefore, it is essential to talk with your doctor about your personal risk factors and/or experience with prenatal testing. By talking openly and regularly with your doctor, you will take an active role in your care.
General Tips for Gathering Information
Here are some tips that will make it easier for you to talk to your doctor:
- Bring someone else with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and think of questions to ask.
- Write out your questions ahead of time, so you don't forget them.
- Write down the answers you get, and make sure you understand what you are hearing. Ask for clarification, if necessary.
- Don't be afraid to ask to have information written down or ask where you can find more information about what you are discussing. You have a right to know.
Specific Questions to Ask Your Doctor
About Prenatal Testing
- Based on my age, family history and medical history, which prenatal tests are right for me?
- What do the different tests measure?
- How reliable are the different tests?
- What are my options if a test indicates there is a problem?
About Each Test
- How accurate is the test?
- How long before I get the results?
- What do you hope to learn from this test?
- Is the procedure painful?
- Is the procedure dangerous to me or the fetus?
- What are the risks?
- Do the benefits outweigh the risks?
- What will happen if I do not do this test?
- How much will the test cost?
- Is the test covered by insurance?
- What do I need to do to prepare for the test?
- What are my options if the test indicates there is a problem?
- Do you recommend that I have this test?
Last reviewedMarch 2014by Andrea Chisholm, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.