Downs Syndrome Tests

Sarah - posted on 06/25/2009 ( 20 moms have responded )

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I was replying to a thread about Downs testing and it made me wonder what you guys think of the subject.
With my eldest i didn't even take the blood test.
With my 2nd, i kinda got talked into doing it by someone, it came back high risk (tho only just!)
It was a one in 250 chance that she could have Downs.
Lots of crying and worrying later, i went in to speak with the doctor about my options.
I was offered an amnio, but declined it as the risk of miscarriage is quite high. Also, my husband and i would not have aborted even if it came back that she did have Downs.
I wish i had never taken the test really!!
Obviously, she was born and she was fine!
Anyone else go through anything similar??
Has anyone had the amnio??
:)

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Megan - posted on 06/26/2009

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Also, i asked my doctor honestly if SHE would have it done if she were me... and she said her personal opinion was that in my case the risks far outweighed the benefits. The solidified it for me.

Megan - posted on 06/26/2009

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I opted out of optional amniocentisis for several reasons- we have no genetic predisposition on either side of our family, i am young and healthy with no risk factors, and the tests come too far in the pregnancy for me. When they were offered it was beyond the "limit" of when i think ANY abortion is acceptable to me- not to bring up pro choice or prolife. I just already knew that the answer wouldn't make a difference for us and i didn't want to risk a miscarriage to find out. The ultrasound was good enough for me. I ended up with a happy healthy baby- but i know i would have loved her just as much if she would have had downs or something else anyways.

Christa - posted on 06/26/2009

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I didn't have any of those tests. I asked my doctor if they told us something was there anything we could do to help the problem she said no, so I said I didn't want the tests. Abortion is never an option for me. If fact I worked with a girl who shocked me. She was talking about someone who had just had a downs baby and she said she wondered why they didn't have amnio because then she could have terminated it and not worried about the problem. I about fell out of my chair when she said that.

[deleted account]

Theres only a point to having the test if you would terminate the pregnancy and if bloods say that there is a high chance. Other than that, the risk of miscarriage is too high. I personally wouldn't have the amnio test. I can't even remember whether I had the blood test or not.

[deleted account]

I think I had that scan then. Because there was a test that cost about $175 that I had to pay for out of pocket where they tested to see if I had the gene for Cyctic Fibrosis. My cousin passed from CF the same day I concieved my son. Would that be the same one where they test for Down's also? I just remember them doing a blood test for the Down's and saying my risk factor was low but then they offered to do an amnio anyhow if I wanted to be sure.

Ez - posted on 06/26/2009

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Yeah we have to pay for the scan (about $150 depending on where you have it done) but then claim about half that back through Medicare.

Katie - posted on 06/26/2009

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What a worrying time that must have been for you and your husband,Sarah.I'm so glad everything worked out ok. You were so brave,well done! xx

Sarah - posted on 06/26/2009

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I did hear of a Nuchal scan, but i would have had to pay about £200 for it.
I just got the blood test and then was offered the amnio.
:)

Ez - posted on 06/25/2009

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In Australia we have what's called a Nuchal Translucency Scan in conjunction with the blood tests between 12-14 weeks to check for Downs. The scan measures the thickness of the nuchal folds.
I had it done as it is routine here, not because it would've made any difference to me continuing with the pregnancy. You can opt not to do it, but I don't know anyone who has.

Mary - posted on 06/25/2009

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Hmmm, not sure about what testing is available where, but here in MD, they now offer what is refered to as the quad screen...it's the same blood work as the triple screen as well as an ultrascan to look at the nuchal thickness. It's somewhat new, and is supposed to add a higher degree of reliabilty in predicting downs. Bonus is that's it's noninvasive, but they would recommend an amnio if the results were positive.

Sarah - posted on 06/25/2009

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Mary, i only got a blood test, not a sono. (well, i had 3 sono's in my pregnancy, an early one because i was bleeding, a dating scan at 12 weeks and then my 20 week scan)
They said there's not a lot you can pick up to indicate Downs on a sono that early.
As i've said, i wish i hadn't taken the blooming thing, because i was worried a lot through my pregnancy because of it. I shouldn't have listened to other people!!
:)

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I was considered "high risk" when I was pregnant with my son. They did do the blood test and it came back fine. They still offered the amnio, but I refused for two reasons. For one, I've heard that amnio's are really uncomfortable and painful. Second, it wouldn't have mattered to us if he had Down's. The risk of miscarriage from the amnio, even as small a risk as it is, was too great for me to consider. I had wanted a baby for so many years and I wasn't about to let a needle in a doctor's office take it away from me. Plus, it wouldn't have made me consider abortion or adoption not even for a second. We love him, and would have loved him the same, no matter what. The same will be true with this pregnancy. Even if the bloodwork shows a risk, which for me the risk is obviously still there because I'll be 38 in 2 weeks (getting older, not younger dammit lol), it still won't matter one bit. I still won't have the amnio and I will still love this baby like crazy no matter what.

Amie - posted on 06/25/2009

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We were offered it with our last two but never did them. Our doctor was good about it. We knew it wouldn't change our view on having the baby.

Abby - posted on 06/25/2009

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i didnt take any of the tests, we agreed that id there was anything wrong we'd deal with it. x

Traci - posted on 06/25/2009

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I didn't have any of those tests done either. My doc told me they have a very high false positive rate and if you aren't the type to terminate your baby, it can cause you nothing but a lot of senseless worry.

Mary - posted on 06/25/2009

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Going to assume you're referring to the blood test accompanied by a sono that is done in the 1st trimester.

Although, at 37 I was considered "high risk" I opted not to do any prenatal testing. I knew that the results would not change anything I did, and that testing has such a high rate of false positives, it just seemed like it would get me all worked up for nothing. Typically, if that 1st test comes back suggestive of Down's, you are strongly encouraged to follow-up with a CVS (sampling of the baby's blood from the umbilical cord). With any invasive procedures, there is a risk of miscarriage, although small. In 15 years, I had only seen that happen twice, but that was twice too many for me, especially since I had miscarried just 3 months before I conceived Molly. What was the point in having that 1st test if I knew I wouldn't abort, and I wouldn't get the recommended f/u testing?

I had the luxury of personally knowing the staff at our perinatal center, as well as the perinatalogists that perform the 20 week anatomy scans, so I was confident that they would pick up any anomalies at that time. Breathed a big sigh of relief after that was done!!

It's a highly personal choice, of course, but unless you know that you would terminate, there just doesn't seem much point in doing it. Not to scare anyone, but I also think it may give some a false sense of security that everything is fine. I have done 2 deliveries in the past of an undiagnosed Downs...and both couples had normal 1st trimester screens (b/c of their insurance, their anatomy scans had not been done at my hospital). Obviously, they were devestated, and both times, they kept repeating that it just couldn't be, since all their prenatal testing had been fine.

Sarah - posted on 06/25/2009

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I'm only 26 (25 at the time) so when they said it had come back high risk i was pretty shocked!! Really wasn't expecting it! :)

Sara - posted on 06/25/2009

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I think if you're in a high risk category, it may be worth it. However, I thought it was needless with mine as well, simply because it wouldn't change anything for me, I wasn't going to get rid of my baby or anything. I would not have wanted an amnio unless absolutely necessary either. Not worth it to me. I worried all through my pregnancy that something would go wrong, my baby would die, etc...I didn't need tests to add to that!

[deleted account]

I always assumed I would take advantage of any such pre-natal testing, but when the opportunity arose in my pregnancy, I opted out. The reason was that early in my pre-natal care, a doctor mis-read some of my test results and told me that my baby had a potentially deadly or extremely debilitating infection. I opted for a second opinion, and was glad I did - because there was actually nothing wrong. Obviously, I switched doctors. The subject of Downs testing came up shortly thereafter, but the thought of going through a possible false positive was too much for me. I just couldn't go through that again so soon. If I get pregnant again, I may opt for the testing though.

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