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Lahey Health is now part of Beth Israel Lahey Health

You have your own health past. Talk with your doctor about your risk factors and health past with prenatal testing. By talking openly and often with your doctor, you can make the best choices for you and your family.

General Tips for Gathering Information

Here are some tips that will make it simpler 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 down your questions before your appointment so you do not forget them.
  • Write down the answers you get and make sure you grasp what you are hearing. Ask for help if you need it.
  • Do not be afraid to ask your questions. Ask where you can find more information. You have a right to know.

Specific Questions to Ask Your Doctor

About Prenatal Testing
  • Based on my age, and family and health past, which prenatal tests are right for me?
  • What does each test look for?
  • How reliable are the different tests?
  • What happens if there is a potential problem found?
About Each Test
  • How accurate is the test?
  • How long does it take to get results?
  • What do you hope to learn from this test?
  • Will the test cause pain?
  • Can this test cause harm to me or my baby?
  • 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?
  • Do I really need this test?


Getting the most out of your doctor appointment. Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: Updated January 19, 2018. Accessed July 2, 2019.

Prenatal tests. Kids Health—Nemours Foundation website. Available at: Updated August 2018. Accessed July 2, 2019.

Routine prenatal care. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: . Updated May 31, 2019. Accessed July 2, 2019.

Revision Information

  • Reviewer: EBSCO Medical Review Board Mary-Beth Seymour, RN
  • Review Date: 05/2019
  • Update Date: 10/02/2019