Has Anyone Had Quot First Trimester Screening Quot

39 Replies
Perl - April 13

I'll be getting First Trimester Screening done soon. I would like to hear from others who have already gone through this. All I know is that it involves a bloodtest and an ultrasound. Will it feel any different than the va___al ultrasounds where I saw the heartbeat? Was the equipment (wand) any different? Did the ultrasound take much longer than a regular one? All done va___ally not externally through the abdomen right? What other tests are you taking after getting your results? I know these are a lot of questions, your general thoughts are appreciated.


Kristin - April 13

Hi Perl..I will be going for the Prenatal Screening tests too!..I also had them once before on my last pregancy. This first Screening test which combines a Nuchal Translucency Test, which measures the fluid behind the neck of the fetus, plus two blood tests (one at the first screening and another at 16 weeks I think) and your age, to make an indication of the likelihood of chromosonal problems.. such as down syndorome, trisomy, edwards syndrome etc. These first tests are indicators, often with a percentage and if your percentage is high you will be screen positive, and if the percentage is low you will be screen negative. Often when we are over 35 as I am, the age has alot to do with your screen postive result and again coupled with the NT measurement. Last time my NT was high 4.0mm. Anything over 2.5 is consider high and will automatically put you at high risk for those problems. After getting your result you can decide how you would like to proceed..if you are positive you can have CVS at 13 weeks or so..and you can also have the amnio between 16-18 weeks I think. These additional tests will rule out any chromosonal problems, if there are none and/or they will show up with a higher likelihood with these additional tests. These additional tests are invasive and give you a better idea. Keep in mind that most women who are given a screen positive result will inevitably go on to have healthy babies anyway..in my situation it was not the case as I found out on the day I went in for CVS that the heart had stopped beating. Perl two things to ask the technician are..what is the NT measurement? and what is the CRL which is the crown rump length. Depending on how far along you are exactly the CRL will also indicate if the fetus is growing at the correct rate. For example if the CRL is 6mm then the average length for someone around that age may be between 5-7mm and then your baby would be right on. Anyway, hope some of this info helps. Last time I went in for these tests I knew nothing about what they were looking for other than postive or negative result! But after I had the high NT I tried to educate myself as much as possible..There is also a site on Babycentre UK if you punch in Babycentre/Nuchal Scan there is also a forum there where others have gone through these tests..and there worries and successes. Take Care and Best of luck to you Perl! I will keep you posted on my screening tests too, in a couple of weeks! P.S. When they did the test on me they did it both through my pelvis and internally..and the wand is the same. It will depend on how well they can view the fetus. Plus the length of time is approx 20-25 minutes about the same as other utrasounds. Don't forget to ask for a pic of the baby too!! Kristin :)


Perl - April 13

Thank you Kristin, this is very helpful information and helps to relieve a little fear that comes from not knowing what to expect. I'll be sure to ask the right questions and anxious to hear how your screening tests were.


alley24 - April 15

I am 43 and I have my first ultra sound in two weeks, then in 4 weeks from that I have to go to Chappel hill and have gentic screening done,3d ultra sound, and a amnio. I am scared but it is in gods hands.


Perl - April 16

Alley, I understand your fear. I was so nervous before my first ultrasound that I could not sleep the night before. Everything turned out perfectly. Now I have appointments for a level 2 ultrasound, the First Trimester Screening" and I'm nervous about that. Depending on those results and the AFP results I may or may not decide to do the amniocentesis. Please let us know how your u/s and screening tests go.


Kristin72 - April 18

Perl, what is the date of your first ultrasound screening test? I am just about to call to book my appointment. Kristin :)


Perl - April 23

Sorry Kristin72, I've been out of it and forgot to check back on this discussion til now. My appointment is scheduled for May 11th when I'll be 12 weeks into pregnancy. I was told it had to be done at 11 to 13 weeks. Did you schedule yours? Alley, will wait to hear from you about yours at the end of this week. Will be thinking of you so keep us posted.


CaliTrish - April 25

Hi Perl, I had the First Trimester Screen (or Combined Screen) done a couple weeks ago, just under the wire at 13w6d with the baby's CRL a mere 3mm short of being too late. They used the external U/S wand and it only took a few minutes to get several good measurements of the neck fluid which averaged 1.8 mm. The doc told me that my odds had improved tremendously. A week later I got the official results - for DS, my odds went from 1:110 to 1:7400; for Trisomy 18, my odds went from 1:400 to 1:10000. The hubby and I have already decided to not have an amnio. I still plan to do the ExAFP Screen at 17 weeks to check for neural tube defects. Kristin describes the Integrated Screen, which is more accurate and involves a second blood test during the second trimester which would check for neural tube defects. Wishing you positive news at your appt.


Perl - April 25

CaliTrish, do you mind if I ask how old you are I know that age factors into the testing doesn't it? I'm 37 here and still worried about the screening. Also you mentioned that your odds improved from 1:100 to 1:7400 for DS. That's great and must have given you some relief! Since you had an improvement in odds does this mean that you were tested twice---another time in addition to the one you had a couple of weeks ago? Which test did you do first?


MellyMel - April 26

CaliTrish, how old are you? Just because I've never heard of those odds from any woman over 35?


alley24 - April 26

I would like to know how old as well. I am 43, so I am sure my blood test will come back with a positive. I have a freind who works at the ob ward for high risk pregnancy in wisconsin. She told me that they have not seen many cases of ds babies, and that the ones that she sees is more born to woman in the teens and twentys. That to me is possitive.I have a regular ultra sound on Firday, Should I ask them anything at all??


Perl - April 26

Alley, you can't be sure that you'll get a positive for DS. What screening tests are you waiting for--it's not AFP is it? Maybe our odds will be a little less encouraging because we're older but just know that my sis had her twins at 42 (just one year less than you are now), she's as "high-risk" as a woman can get (severe asthma, congestive heart disease, obese--350 + lbs, diabetic, etc.) and she never had any worries from test results about DS. Her twins are perfectly healthy 3 yr olds now. You mentioned earlier that this week will be your first ultrasound which means that you should ask what the crown to rump length is on your little one, the number of heart beats per minute and number of weeks and days you are into pregnancy based on your measurements. It's also interesting to know what the average crown to rump length is compared to the actual measurements of your little one. Let us know how it goes.


CaliTrish - April 26

Hi Ladies, I turn 37 this weekend. My first trimester odds for DS strictly by age was 1:110. After the Combined Screen, the odds improved to 1:7400. It was a great relief after all the indecision of what tests to do. Although the screen can only a__sess the possible risk, my husband and I figured the odds are on our side. Thus far, I have only had the Combined Screen. As I mentioned, I plan to do the Expanded AFP to check for neural tube defects. The improvement is over the "maternal age with no testing" odds. MellyMel, I was surprised by the results as well. I just got the actual lab report in the mail the other day, and there it was in black & white. I would hope that a typo wouldn't get by them. alley24, according to NICHD, at 43 your odds of giving birth to a baby with DS is somewhere between 1:60 and 1:35. I don't mean to worry you, but I believe in being well informed. The Combined Screen supposedly has a lower false positive rate than the ExAFP Screen. You need to decide what you'll do with this information, i.e. keep the baby regardless, risk miscarriage with a diagnostic test, etc. I was prepared to do an amnio if my screening came back and my odds hadn't improve significantly. I will likely go straight to amnio if I am blessed with a second pregnancy.


alley24 - April 26

i willhave my blood work for screening in a few weeks. yes I know that the risk are 1-60, or 1-30 but that is okay. I am going to have all test like I said but the amnio, the risk of a miscarriage is one I dont wish to take.


CaliTrish - April 26

alley24, if you know you won't do a diagnostic test, I can only a__sume you would keep this baby regardless if it has DS. If this is so, why bother with the screening at all? If it comes back negative, it will be a wonderful relief; but it come back positive, you'll just worry until the baby is born.


alley24 - April 26

No i didnt say I was not getting all the teting, I am doing everyting but amino. I dont know what I am going to do until then. I have faith all will be well, I have 3 healthy children, I am in great health and I am doing what my doctor says, he said that if I get a amio, that the risk are higher for a miscarriage because of my age, i will have the blood test, and the ultra sounds.


MellyMel - April 26

Thank you CaliTrish. Those odds are great!! I am not having the blood tests either. Just the Nuch Scan and the Level 2 ultrasound when the time comes. Because I am 38 it is already going to come back positive, so why worry myself over an estimate. It makes no difference to me only because we are keeping it either way and the hospital I will birth at is equipped to handle a labor as such, but of course I am hoping for a healthy happy baby.........GIRL?! LOL



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