Are Prenatal Screening Tests Right For You

Here are some things you may need to consider when deciding to perform a prenatal screening test:

Do you want to know if you baby may have Down Syndrome, trisomy 18, or open neural tube defect, and/or some other problem?

How will this information affect your feelings throughout your pregnancy

If a screen test comes back positive will you follow up with an amniocentisis to confirm the results?

If the test is positive, will you want to terminate the pregnancy, plan for adoption or prepare for a specials needs child?

 

Other things to consider:

screening tests will find most babies with Down Syndrome, trisomy 18 or open neural tube defects, but not all.

Screening tests will not find every kind of birth defect, no test can do this.

 

 

Quad Screen

Preformed at: 16 – 20 weeks

Tests for: Down syndrome, Trisomy 18, Open neural tube defect

Pros                                          Cons

not invasive                             preformed late in pregnancy

72- 75% accurate

 

Serum Integrated Pregnancy Screening (SIPS)

Preformed at: 12 weeks and 16 – 20 weeks

Tests for: Down syndrome, Trisomy 18, Open neural tube defect

Pros                                         Cons

not invasive                            results late in pregnancy

82- 84% accurate

Nucheal Transluency Test (NT) (combined with blood tests) (IPS)

Preformed at: 11- 13 weeks

Tests for: Down syndrome (DS) and some other chromosomal abnormalities as well as major congenital heart problems

Pros                                                                  Cons

not invasive                                                     88% accurate

preformed early in pregnancy                    expensive if preformed in a private clinic about $700.00

 

Chronic Villi Sampling (CVS)

Preformed at: 11-12 weeks

Tests for: chromosomal abnormalities, including Down syndrome, trisomy 13, trisomy 18, and sex chromosome abnormalities (such as Turner syndrome and Klinefelter syndrome)

Pros                                                            Cons

99% accurate                                             risk of miscarriage during procedure

preformed early in pregnancy                 can not detect neural tube defects

Amniocentesis

Preformed at : 16 – 20 weeks

Tests for: chromosomal disorders, including Down syndrome, trisomy 13, trisomy 18, and sex chromosome abnormalities (such as Turner syndrome and Klinefelter syndrome). Several hundred genetic disorders, such as cystic fibrosis, sickle cell disease, and Tay-Sachs disease. The test is not used to look for all of them, but if your baby is at increased risk for one or more of these disorders, amniocentesis can usually tell you whether he has the disease.  Neural tube defects such as spina bifida and anencephaly.

Pros                                                                       Cons

99% accurate                                                        risk of miscarriage

tests for many disorders and defects              preformed late in pregnancy

 

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