How is the Maternal Serum Screening Test Done?

Whether you decide to have an AFP test, triple screening or maternal serum quad screening done, the test will be performed the same way. A sample of blood is taken from your arm and is sent to a medical laboratory for assessment. Your results should be ready within one week.

Pros of Maternal Serum Screening

If you are considering having this test done, here are some of the advantageous:

  • Can help you make decisions about your baby
  • Can detect twins, triplets, and higher-order multiple births, allowing you to receive the appropriate care
  • Can help you make special arrangements for the birth of your child if necessary
  • Can help you choose between a caesarean or vaginal delivery


Cons of Maternal Serum Screening

Despite the benefits of the test, there are some disadvantageous that are important to consider.


  • Tests have a high level of "false-positive" results
  • May present complications in those with bleeding disorders
  • May cause a bruise at the needle site
  • Testing can be expensive depending on the results
  • Can lead to amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling (CVS) which increases your risk of miscarriage

Remember, maternal serum screening is an optional test. Discuss with your health care provider and partner all the pros and cons of testing and what the possible test results will mean to you before deciding whether to have the test.


Table of Contents
1. Maternal Serum Screening
2. Are your results abnormal?
3. Weigh the Pros and Cons
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