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From June, prenatal tests are free for all pregnant women. They can save a life

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It was enough to lift the age limit – it was three weeks ago – for many more patients to start undergoing prenatal tests. The tests are free. All you need is a referral from your pregnancy doctor. It is worth it because fetal defects can be detected and treated while still in the mother's womb.

It's only half an hour, but it gives you peace of mind for the next months. – This is the first pregnancy, the first child, so there's always stress and nerves. If I make sure that everything is fine, I feel calmer, says one of the patients. – It gives you a lot of peace of mind later during pregnancy, so I highly recommend it – says another patient.

These are prenatal tests that doctors not only recommend, but even encourage patients to undergo. Especially since, as of June 5, all women can afford them because they are free for everyone.

– The number of patients has increased by about 40 percent since this regulation came into force – says Dr. Hab. Rafał Iciek, head of the Prenatal Diagnostics Center of the Karol Marcinkowski Medical University in Poznań.

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– We are noticing a significant increase in the number of patients, not only from Łódź, but also from the surrounding area – notes Tomasz Jarzębski, a gynecologist from the Institute of the Polish Mother's Health Center in Łódź.

“It was extremely unfair and exclusionary.”

Until the beginning of June, only women over 35 and those who had bad test results in the past could benefit from free prenatal tests.

The rest, if they wanted to check the child's health, had to spend up to a thousand zlotys. – It was extremely unfair and exclusionary that we adopted only the age criterion of 35 years – says Dr. Hab. Maciej Socha, head of the Obstetrics and Gynecology Department of St. Adalbert's Hospital in Gdańsk.

– Many defects may appear earlier, not only in patients over 35 years of age – points out Dr. Agnieszka Żalińska from the Multiple Pregnancy Clinic of the Institute of the Polish Mother's Health Center in Łódź.

Tests detect many diseases and defects

First and second trimester tests are free of charge. All you need is a referral from your doctor. – I think this is a big breakthrough for a whole lot of women who, for some reason, have not had these tests ordered and performed so far – says Tomasz Jarzębski.

Such tests detect many diseases and defects. Firstly, they detect genetic defects at a very early stage. – It shows us whether the patient is in the group of patients whose fetus may have Patau syndrome, Edwards syndrome or Down syndrome. These are the three most important diseases involving chromosomal defects, says Dr. Hab. Maciej Socha.

Thanks to prenatal tests in the second trimester, we will learn about so-called incidental defects. – There are defects, both in single and multiple pregnancies, that qualify for intrauterine treatment – says Dr. Hab. Rafał Itiek.

This means that the problem can be resolved while the baby is still in the womb. – It reassured me a lot that I could help my child – admits one of the patients.

READ ALSO: From June 5, prenatal tests will be available free of charge. “The patient simply deserves it”

From June 5, prenatal tests will be available free of charge. “The patient simply deserves it”Katarzyna Górniak/Fakty TVN

Mrs. Martyna's child had a defect detected early enough to enable the necessary reaction. – It showed slight abnormalities in the right lung and I was further referred to the hospital to diagnose exactly what was happening – says Mrs. Martna.

Prenatal tests are not only diagnostics of unborn children, but also of pregnant women. – It turned out that I have placenta previa, so these tests certainly helped me a lot – says Mrs. Karolina. In such cases, knowledge can save lives.

Main photo source: TVN2

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