prenatal screening

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ladyinwaiting13 Posts: 43
Hi Ladies, I've just come back from my first Gp visit having my first pregnancy confirmed. Lovely experience, you would think. After she confirmed the pregnancy and gave me a due date she quickly went through what I can and can not eat etc. Then she reminded me of my ripe old age of 36 and took out a book of statistics to point out that I have a 1 in 219 chance of having a Downs child and explained my options regarding the different types of screening tests, their accuracy, and when I would book in for these if I do decide to screen. To be honest I didn't take much of what she was saying in, due to combination of extreme fatigue and selective hearing! I left the surgery feeling depressed and worried. It's not that I'm naive enough not to realize I was at an increased risk, but was it really necessary to bring it up now?! I'm really apprehensive already about the chances of miscarriage, and have been focusing all my worries on that. I did not need that extra stress right now. Does anybody have an experience of prenatal screening? I don't know what is for the best, and want to bury head in the sand about it all for a little while. Thanks
Bigsurprise Posts: 961
As far as I know you need to screen around the end of first trimester beginning of second so I suppose your doctor might have thought it was relevant to mention it at the stage you are at.
bumble Posts: 1980
The screening needs to be done between 11 weeks and 13+5 weeks which is prob why gp mentioned it as if it's left to your first hospital apt to discuss it might be too late to arrange. I had dd at 37 and was told about the testing, I declined. This time I am 40 so my odds are 1 in 68 based on my age alone, so we had nuchal test done last week. It's a scan and blood test, my scan showed nuchal well within normal range and am waiting for bloods results to be given my overall risk factor. It isn't diagnostic, just gives you a risk factor. If u come back as high risk u can opt for amnio or cvs which are diagnostic but carry small risk of mc. It's a very personal decision whether you have it or not. As I'm 40 and had two miscarriages this year I went ahead with nuchal screening. Good luck with your decision.
ladyinwaiting13 Posts: 43
Thanks for replies bumble and bigsurprise. I was just quite overwhelmed after meeting with Doc yesterday, there seemed a lot to take in. Aging is so cruel! If we go for scan do I need to book that through my GP and is it expensive? I'm thinking that if we were told bad news it would cause unnecessary stress and worry throughout remainder of pregnancy. It's not like you can change anything about it. We would just have to deal with it as best we could when the baby arrived. On the other hand if it was a positive result it may help to relieve some of the worry. I actually lost a nights sleep over this last night! Good luck with the blood results Bumble.
CherylC Posts: 1071
Sorry to hear you had that experience. I was 37 having DS and the GP never mentioned anything like that. Perhaps your GP just wanted to give you your option but doesn't sound like he/she went about it very well. Remember if there is a 1 in 219 chance of downs, that means there is 218 in 219 chance (over 99.5%) of everything being fine. In the end I did get the nuchal scan done. I decided I wanted to know - luckily for me it provided reassurance, as it does in many cases. Based on the results the chances of a problem was in the 1000s. To be honest I'm not sure what I would have done if it didn't. You can get it done through your maternity hospital or privately. You don't have to decide yet - its between 11-13 weeks.
bluepolkadots Posts: 1237
Hi ladyinwaiting13. Sorry to hear you're upset when it should be a special time. I'm 32, having first baby, we live in the UK and our first doctor appointment had a lot of Downs chat - to me it seems the 12 week scan here in UK in addition to dating the baby is also to check for Downs. I wasn't expecting this chat with GP and it def put a wee bit of a downer on the visit. We had the combined test - scan with nuchal measurement and blood test. We had already chatted about things beforehand and decided if we were high risk etc we would still go ahead with the pregnancy. As it turns out we came back low risk. In addition there is the amniotic test, again we decided we wouldn't do it regardless of whether we were high or low risk as very low chance of miscarriage. I guess I'm just trying to say try not to take it too personally what your GP said... if it's something you want reassurance on the combined test is straightforward and gives good indicator of whether the baby might be Downs - it HAS to be done by week 14 max - ideally 12 to 13 weeks. We had ours at 12. Best of luck with everything.
bumble Posts: 1980
If you are going public for your antenatal care it is free and yo think your gp would contact hospital to arrange it. Bear in mind busy hospitals so if you do want to go ahead with it get it booked in well ahead. I am going private on this pregnancy and it costs €250. I had mine booked in since 8 weeks. It's not a nice thing to think of and it's a very personal decision whether you go for testing. Yes a low risk result can give more reassurance, a high risk result will be more worry and you then have to decide whether or not you have amnio / cvs. It's really just giving you more info so you can be prepared but sometimes too much info is more stressful.
MrsPositive Posts: 1548
I think the only reason to do it would be if you were going to do something about the result. For me I didnt even though I would have loved to know but if I had got back a 'high risk' I would have been so worried for the whole pregnancy. I think just relax and enjoy it Im the same age as you and please God all will be fine. I've heard of loads of women who have babies in their forties and their fine, its the luck of the draw. On the other hand two girls in their early thirties gave birth to children with downs syndrome so you cant really guage. Try not to worry and enjoy this special time x
ladyinwaiting13 Posts: 43
Thanks for all the replies girls, I feel much better informed now :) Just have to decide what to do now!