I am in the early stages of pregnancy (5 weeks). There is a history of mild spina bifida on my side of the family. I have been taking folic acid for two years and my doctor has also put me on an extra dose for the first 12 weeks.
When I visited my GP this week we discussed the matter. It is always something that I have worried about. She told me she could book me in for a foetal abnormailty scan at 12 weeks in either Belfast of Dublin. She said it was entirely my choice and that I should discuss it with my hubbie. I mentioned it to him and he says he will support me in whatever decision I make, but we do need to discuss all the pros and cons further. I'm just wondering if anyone has had this done, or what your opinions are? My doctor said I have to decide if I want to know if there is some abnormailty now and if so how I would deal with it for the rest of the pregnancy. Then again chances are there may be nothing wrong. My GP says the scan also detects Downs Syndromes and other abnormailities not detected by a normal scan.
Opinions and experience welcome
Dora the explorer
Not too much information for you but I did not want to read and not reply. My consultant offers this as standard, I have not decided if I want to go ahead with it or not - he does it at 11 weeks, if I get that far please god - basically they do a detailed scan with detailed measurments, take blood tests and also take your age into account, then as far as I am aware they give you the chances of you having a baby with downes for e.g 1/50 etc.
My G.P is not too keen as she says where do you stop then i.e if they say you have a 1-50 chance of having a baby with downes do you then go for the amnio cyntesis (sorry spelling) It's a big decision pet and one with your family history but you have to consider what would you do if the chances are high?? Its a very personal decision and hope I have not confused you further, congratulations on your pregnancy and best of luck whatever you decide x
Thanks for the reply Dora-I really appreciate it. I know a lot of people have read my post but you are my first reply and I do appreciate that. I'm trying to put it to the back of my mind for now and am just hoping all goes well now until I hit 12 weeks (I am due May 29th- I think you are also due around then). My GP seems to have left the ball firmly in my court. As I said I also need to discuss the implications of this in further detail with my hubbie. My sister lives in the US and these are common place regardless of your family history!
Anyway Dora keep me posted on your decision in this matter and once again thanks for the reply. Many congrats on your pregnancy
Dora the explorer
thanks pet yes May 28th for me, my consultant has me booked in for the tests on 10 November, but I can change my mind before then, your right it is apparently standard in the US and the UK, GOOD LUCK PET XX
PM'd you there.
When I visited my Consultant at 11 weeks I asked him about this scan because I'm 37 and my husband is older than me we had a few concerns.
He said I could have the scan if I wanted but it would only give me a percentage of what the chances are of something being wrong.
If the risks were high,then you could go for the amnio which has a small risk of miscarriage.
To be honest I have wanted to have a baby for years and now I have been lucky to get pregnant I didin't want to risk a miscarriage.
I know its hard not knowing but I'd rather take my chances and wait and see.
Best of Luck with everything.
Thanks Barbara Ann-I definitely would'nt want to have the amnio, that much I do know.
I had the scan and blood test yesterday - for no particular reason other than to give me one less thing to worry about and it has. If I got a less positive result I am not sure if I would have had the aminio or the cvs test, dh and I would have to weigh up pros and cons.
My understanding of why this is not common place in Ireland is that abortion is not an option here. According to my dr it is standard practice to have these types of scans and test in US/UK/France/Germany.......
If it puts your mind at rest it is worth it - but as the other posters have said you need to think about how you'd handle a negative outcome.
Good luck Emomc, I hope that all goes very well for you and your DH.
I have had 4 abnormality scans so far. I am epileptic and I take medication that carries a higher risk of Spina Bifida and Fetal Cardiac abnormalities. My neurologist gave me a stern talking to before I got pregnant to say something along the lines of "You have to be prepared for the worst if SB and cardiac defects are picked up on the scan. Would you be prepred to terminate if it looked severe?". It was very upsetting and difficult to have to think about. My DH and I decided that if we were to get very bad news on a scan, we would go for an amnio to see the extent of the abnormalities. We didnt think beyond that, just couldnt. Decided to cross that bridge if we came to it.
Sorry this is so long but I want to give you the full story of our experience....we had a scan at 12 weeks to check for downs which came back low risk, a detailed anomaly scan at 15 weeks to check for Spina bifida and the Neurologist got a copy of the report- he was happy that it looked normal, then at 20 weeks we had the anomaly scan where they looked at the major organs and the spine and brain in closer detail and finally we had a 21 week fetal cardiac scan which was just about the babys heart. So far everything is normal. If it hadnt been, I really cant tell you how I would have reacted.
Personally, I think you have to take pregnancy one day at a time, its impossible to make all the decisions up front about what you would do in the various circumstances. I think it is a good idea to get a 12 week scan, it gives a general overview of risk. However, that is my personal view, some people prefer not to have any scans.
I also was on the high dose folic acid (5mg/day) and I was told by the obstetrician that it makes a huge difference. Apparently, not many women took this dose in the past and they believe it helps enormously in preventing SB.
PM me anytime if you want to know anything else about the scans I had. Sorry for going on so long.....
welcome to the mad mad world of worry giggle
I had the blood testing done, without any intention of getting amnio or anything else done if results were not good.
I'm an information junkie and feel it best to be prepared. They do lots of blood tests done for all sorts of things (incl. HIV) here, and I don't see the difference between abnormality testing (in my own situation) and all the other types of testing.
My result thankfully gave us roughly the same risk as someone in their early 30s (I'm not) of the baby having Downs or SB. Risk is still there of course, for anyone (or any age) being pregnant.
We had a big scan at 22weeks, whcih is standard with our consultant. Thankfully nothing showed up then, as I was more worried at that stage after a Chicken Pox scare (which can cause serious developmental problems).
congrats on your pregnancy