Arc Antenatal Results and Choices

Arc Antenatal Results and Choices


Arc - Helping parents and professionals through antenatal screening.

Over 20,000 expectant parents a year are told that their baby may have a genetic or structural condition.

For Parents - We provide non-directive information and support before, during and after antenatal screening.

For Professionals - We provide training and support to help you provide the best possible care to every parent who faces a suspected or diagnosed fetal anomaly.

All pregnant women in the UK are offered antenatal screening tests*.  It is always your choice to have a screening test.

Screening tests are not harmful to your baby but they can lead to decisions about tests that do carry a risk to your pregnancy.

Diagnostic tests such as CVS and amniocentesis carry a small risk (approximately 0.5% or 1 in 200) of causing a miscarriage which means the decision about whether to have them can be difficult. Unfortunately, there is no other way of knowing for sure whether your baby has Down’s syndrome, Patau’s syndrome, Edwards’ syndrome and certain other genetic conditions.

*The types of screening tests offered to women may vary across the four countries of the UK.

  • A screening test in pregnancy cannot give you a yes/no answer as to whether your baby has a condition. It can only tell you what the chances are of your baby being affected. Screening tests in pregnancy include blood tests and ultrasound scans**.
  • A diagnostic test in pregnancy can tell you for definite whether your baby has a condition or not. Diagnostic tests in pregnancy include CVS, amniocentesis and ultrasound scans*.

**ultrasound scans can suggest there might be a condition (as in screening for Down’s syndrome) or confirm there is a condition (as in diagnosing spina bifida).

All tests should be fully explained to you by your doctor or midwife before you have them.