Northwestern Women’s Health Associates, S.C
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Improvement in genetic testing during pregnancy benefit our Chicago patients

DNA testing has been a normal part of obstetrics care for decades. In addition to standard screenings in the first and second trimesters, mothers-to-be may also fall into a category in which specific genetic testing is recommended. The purpose of genetic testing is to screen for chromosomal disorders and other health concerns. The forms of testing that have been widely available; amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling are extremely accurate but may not be necessary in every situation thanks to advances in DNA analysis during pregnancy.

In depth screening with amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling is standard. for women over age 35. The standard for genetic testing for women under age 35 is the first and second trimester stepwise screams which involves blood tests and ultrasound. The stepwise screening had an increased number of false-positives for birth disorders. The physicians at Northwestern Women's Health Associates, S.C. offer an excellent new option: cell-free DNA testing in a simple blood test.

Cell-free DNA testing is possible through the analysis of the mother's blood because, after the 10th week of pregnancy, approximately 10 percent of the DNA present in mother's blood belongs to the fetus. This discovery, which led to advanced screening, has changed how we screen for genetic diseases in pregnancy.

In a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine, cell-free DNA testing was found to be 10 times more accurate in the prediction of Down's syndrome compared to standard blood analysis and ultrasound. This innovative analysis is five times more accurate than standard testing at predicting Trisomy 18, another genetic disorder, with fewer false-positive results.

What is the benefit of cell-free DNA testing and should I request testing?

Before the development of more accurate testing, a greater number of women may have been subjected to unnecessary invasive testing. A false positive from standard testing can be stressful, as can the need for additional testing. At this time, however, cell-free DNA testing is not recommended for normal, healthy pregnancies that do not meet certain criteria for risk, or under age 35. Insurance companies are not paying for this if there are no risks.

Our team is committed to providing the best obstetrics care in the Chicago area. When consulting with new patients, our goal is to perform the standard of care that assesses and maintains a healthy pregnancy. Invasive testing is offered for women at high risk if women want analysis of all the chromosomes. However, today many women are choosing the no risk cell free DNA. In situations that it may be warranted, your physician will discuss with you which type of testing is most suitable to the detection of potential conditions for which risk exists.

Receive personalized obstetrics care at Northwestern Women's Health Associates S.C. in Chicago. Call 1-312-440-9400 or request an appointment online.

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  • Northwestern Women's Health Associates
    5 Dr. Stanley Friedell, 5 Star Review By Gerilynn H.


    Dr. Regina Belmonte has been providing all the services I have needed for over 12 years. She saw me through both of my pregnancies and her expertise is vast. Even after I moved far away from the city, I still embrace and look forward to her care and services, and I refuse to switch doctors. She is worth the trip! Going through both pregnancies I had to meet with all of the Dr's. and all were wonderful. The nurses are fantastic. I have gotten 98% of what I have ever needed just talking to a nurse. So grateful for this practice and so confident with the care I receive.
  • Northwestern Women's Health Associates
    5 Dr. Stanley Friedell, 5 Star Review By Jelly T.


    Dr. Abbie Roth is GOLD!
    I have never met a doctor who is caring and brilliant and with a great sense of humor as doctor Abbie Roth. She is very professional and has an excellent bedside manner. When I had a life threatening complication after my C-section, she and her Prentice team of doctors and nurses were such an efficient team under pressure while making sure they explain every process and steps during the situation. Dr. Abbie Roth and her team literally saved my life! I am very fortunate to have met Dr. Roth, I will never forget her and will continue to see her for my future OB/Gyne health. I highly recommend this practice and Dr. Roth!
  • Northwestern Women's Health Associates
    5 Dr. Stanley Friedell, 5 Star Review By Jessica


    If you are new to Chicago or are just looking for a new physician, please make an appointment with Dr. Friedell. This is the first time in my adult life, that a doctor spent an hour with me going over my medical history, asking questions and documenting my history accurately. His assessment and subsequent surgery were all done t a T! I wouldn't hesitate to recommend him or his staff. I have had very positive experiences every time I've gone and I always leave feeling like I've been really seen and heard.
  • Northwestern Women's Health Associates
    5 Dr. Stanley Friedell, 5 Star Review By Monica E.


    I was recommended to NWWH through a friend after a year of unsuccessful IUI with my partner. We were seen and cared for by Dr. Friedell. Best decision ever. You will definitely wait for the doctor for maybe 30 minutes past your appointment time but you will not regret it. His thoroughness and patience to explain everything to us in a way we understood was amazing. He was quick to start a game plan for us. We will definitely stick with Dr. Friedell as our OB/GYN.

    Apart from Dr. Friedell, the staff was quick to perform any lab work and ultrasounds with friendly conversation and compassion. This type of service really helps when we've gone through a rough time trying to get pregnant. Definitely make an appointment with Dr. Friedell.
  • Northwestern Women's Health Associates
    5 Dr. Stanley Friedell, 5 Star Review By Jennifer H.


    I have been going to Dr. Friedell for over a year now and he has been nothing less than amazing. When I first came to him to discuss pregnancy, he was incredibly informative and understanding. He was also willing to take the time to answer all of my questions and help in any way he could. He just delivered my son in March and to say he went the extra mile during delivery would be an understatement. I had some complications and with any other doctor I would have had a c-section. Dr. Friedell worked with me and was extremely patient and because of his care and expertise I had a successful vaginal delivery. I cannot recommend him highly enough!
  • Northwestern Women's Health Associates
    5 Dr. Stanley Friedell, 5 Star Review By Karima R.


    I have been going to this office for little over a month now due to some complications! I have been seen Dr. Friedell, he is very caring and always made sure he answers all my concerns. I am beyond impressed with my experience with Dr Friedell and his PA " Amber". Dr Friedell called me many times after hours to talk to me about my medical results and answers any concerns that I have.

    I would highly recommend Dr Friedell.
  • Northwestern Women's Health Associates
    5 Dr. Stanley Friedell, 5 Star Review By Elizabeth T.


    I have been a patient of this practice for over 5 years now and have only positive reviews of Dr. Feldstein. He was the doctor on call and delivered my third son without any complications. He was knowledgeable, patient focused and went above and beyond to answer my questions and provide a safe and healthy delivery. I also want to note his positive bedside manner to not only my husband and I, but to the nursing staff that was working with him. He was very respectful and I am very thankful to have had him for my delivery. I would recommend this group, Dr. Feldstein in particular without reservation.
  • Northwestern Women's Health Associates
    5 Dr. Stanley Friedell, 5 Star Review By LA


    I switched to Dr. Roth mid pregnancy due to health insurance reasons and it was probably the best decision I have ever made in my life. She is definitely warm and funny but also extremely competent and knowledgeable. I would say what makes her stand out from other doctors is how calm and not reactive she is in even the most dire situations. My son was in serious fetal distress (unexpected and not preventable) and she was very calm and reassuring as we literally ran to the OR for my c section. With the rise of c sections today I feel Dr. Roth is one of the few remaining fabulous ob's that truly plans for normal vaginal births (your choice if you want an epi or not) and although I needed a c section I knew it was truly necessary. I could not speak more highly of her, not only did she save my sons life but she made me feel safe, secure and empowered even when decisions and actions were out of my hands.
  • Northwestern Women's Health Associates
    5 Dr. Stanley Friedell, 5 Star Review By Dana M.


    I love Dr. Belmonte. I have been going to her since 2006! She rocks!!! She is straight to the point, I love that about her. When I leave her office after seeing her I always feel great, like a just left a good friends house or something!
  • Northwestern Women's Health Associates
    5 Dr. Stanley Friedell, 5 Star Review By Barbara A


    I can not tell you how wonderful my experiences have been. Dr. Sharon Wise is my doctor and she is fantastic. She is straightforward and honest about treatments and procedures. I enjoy her sense of humor, and I found her bedside manner when delivering my son to be excellent.