Down Syndrome

9 Replies
Karen - November 2

I am 35 and looking for as much info as possible on DS. I am 15 weeks and not sure if I want to risk getting the amnio. I was wondering if there were any other factors besides age and family history that can raise the risk. They say that older women are more apt because their eggs are getting older and can get to the point where they don't form as well. But if your periods are regular and the flow is as its always been, could this be a sign that your eggs are developing properly and so your risk of having a DS baby is low?Anyone else read any interesting research on the subject?


brandi - November 2

hi Karen, I am 34 and decided against the amnio. One reason being that my sister in law is mentally handicapped and she is the most adorable person in the world and my hubby would not have considered termination or anything based on this. Secondly I do not consider 35 "old". There are women of 40+ having first babies with no problems whatsoever. They say that DS happens when the mother is on the borderline of menopause, so I would say you should be fine. I am ttc at the moment and will probably decline the amnio. Personally I wouldnt risk it, but its a matter of personal choice. Good luck


Karen - November 2

Brandi, I share your views, but I'm still curious as to if there are signs early on that can indicate DS without the amnio. For instance, does a fetus with DS have a weaker heartbeat? I've tried doing research on the internet but have come up with nothing.


Gina - November 2

Hey Karen, there are a few signs on U/S that can indicate Down's, typically called "soft signs", but are just indications and their presence or absence is not really diagnostic. As well, the maternal serum screening does miss some cases of Down's, as well as having a rather hign false pos. rate. 35 is by no means old at all and there are certainly many women having children with no problems after this age, but the risk does dramatically go up with age. I don't think the risk is linked with period regularity but not sure. Age is the biggest thing. Even family history only accounts for a very small percentage of cases. I think the risk of miscarriage with the amnio is about 2%, but your obs. may have a lower rate than that if s/he has lots of experience. In any case, it's just as well to decide what you would do with a definite pos result before getting any tests like this, as Brandi says. Hope this is helpful and not too vague :)


Terri - November 2

Have you had blood work done.alpha-fetoprotein test (AFP test)? maybe if you know your ratio it may help you make the decesion on doing an amino. my sister had the AFP test and it showed that the baby may have DS, she then decided to have the amino done just in case she had to prepare for a special child. but the amino showed that everything was ok, she is 34. hope this helps


Gemma - November 3

I think you need to think about what you would do if the amnio showed that your baby has ds. If you will keep the baby anyway then maybe you shouldn't have it done but if you would consider abortion then maybe you should.


Jessica - November 4

there is a blood test that you can take that is not at all invasive. it is called the AFP test and it checks for Down syndrome and a bunch of other diseases. The results are 85-90%accurate. as they are with the amnio. do you have DS in your family? I took the AFP test and it came out negative. I felt a lot better, i know there is still a chance that it could have a disorder but it take sime if the pressure off. try it. it is not at all invasive just a standard blood test. ask your doctor about it. i am not sure if they have it in your location. good luck


tamara - December 15

i was 35 1/2 when i had my first child and i didnt get the amnio instead i got a 3d ultra sound that checked the features of the babys face also spinalbifida after i had that done the doctor there said everything looked fine and they really didnt need to do a amino


Lena - December 15

Downs Syndrome is a chromosomal disorder and not considered a heritable trait. The reason why older women have a greater risk is that our eggs are older. (We are born with all of our eggs, unlike men who undergo constant spermatogenesis.) The older age of our egg causes them to have lower integrity so they are more subseptible to not fusing and replicating as cleanly as the eggs of a younger woman. I had the amnio and it really wasn't a big deal. I made sure that my doctor was extremely experienced in the procedure (its all he does now). There are other options to an amnio such as CVS or triple screening bloodtest. The triple screen won't tell you yes or no about DS, but it will tell you if you have a high percentage or low percentage. I know many women pa__s on the amnio once they learn there triple screen indicated low odds. One thing to consider is that the purpose of an amnio is not only to dtermine to keep or terminate a pregnancy. DS children have a high % of heart related problems and knowing if your child has DS will allow you to have specialists on hand to tend to your child immediately at birth. My coworker has a DS child and the specialists made the difference between her sons life and death. He is now a strong and healthy 19 yr old and the sweetest thing.


claireberry - January 18

everyone goes on about the mothers of downs children are 35 + well a few facts ladies 85% of downs are to women under 35 as i am 22 pregnant with a downs i very well know if your not going to terminate then dont bother testing further karen, good luck to you



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