Is AFP Test A Must

17 Replies
JF - April 24

I had it with my son 3 years ago and he is a healthy little boy. I am 29 year old healthy female with a healthy husband and am wondering if I need this test this time around. I will be 16 weeks this week and am wondering if the test is necessary or is it just more worry for me? I didn't really think much about it the first time around my doctor suggested it and I did it and everything came out fine. This time it makes me nervous to think something could be wrong. What do you guys think? P.S. I had a miscarriage in Nov. so I guess I am extra paranoid.


Raye Lynn - April 24

I opted not to get it. If anything was found wrong, we wouldn't do anything about it. Sometimes, insurance wont cover it either unless there is a medical history to back it up. Its a personal choice. I am still nervous, but as I said, I wouldn't do anything about it.


kk - April 24

i had it done a week ago and this has been the waiting week from hell. i am so scared something will be wrong, i wish i had not had it done. i won't do anything even if something is wrong with the baby but the doctor said at least i would know so i can prepare for when it's born. i should get my results back in 2 or 3 days, wish me luck and good luck to you too.


HP - April 24

I took mine two days ago. Sooo worried about the results now. The doctor said its good to know & be prepared, and usually for babies with syndrome or other problems, they consider it high risk and will do c-section, instead of v____al. That is why the doc recommended me to take it.


Phoebe - April 24

I had it done and would always... Its far along... you can't do anything, and I won't do anything about it... perhaps just read up more about the case if it came out indicating problems... All we can do is have faith about every thing being okay and try our best to worry. Maybe you can read up on it reguardless, and if you don't want to worry... while pregnant... just do the test, and ask the doctors that if there is a problem, to do what is necessary at the time of delivery.


D - April 25

No! you don't HAVE to take the test! My doctor doesn't even recommend it for people as young as us. (I'm 30) she says its not a true positive/negative test, since it only gives you the probability of having problems, NOT whether there actually are problems or not. Because of this, she says the false "positive" rate is very high, so if it were to come back indicating a potential for problems, I would have to go in for more testing to make sure. She told me that she thinks it causes a lot of stress that is usually unneeded. Since my personal research (and I suggest doing your own too!) seems to agree with what she told me about the inaccuracy of this test, and the fact that I wouldn't do anything about it if the baby isn't normal anyway, I have opted not to have the test.


jsmom - April 25

I had it done last week. My dr. called me with the results and said I was at risk for Down's syndrome. They moved my 18 week ultrasound forward by a couple of days and found a down's syndrome marker. We had decided against an amnio all along so now we need to wait until I deliver. They told me they would have found the marker during the u/s anyways. All I can say is that that test freaked me out. In between the test result and the u/s I did a lot of reading on AFP and this test seems to return a lot of false positives which lead to worry. Just my 2 cents - wish I never had the test done but saying that the u/s would have shown the marker that they found anyways. I'm now 18 weeks and the events of last week have totally changed my pregnancy - instead of glowing and blissfully eating everything in sight I'm now worried.


jsmom - April 25

forgot to mention I'm 34 and have a wonderful healthy 3 yr old.


Julie - April 25

JSMom I have a question what exaclty is a marker?


jsmom - April 25

it's an indicator for Downs syndrome that shows up in the ultrasound. There are certain signs that they look for and fluid in the kidneys is one, absense of a nasal bone is another. These were all foreign terms to me a week ago.


penny - April 25

Do you know which markers you had? I'm 36 and this is my 3rd, I just did the AFP test, but haven't heard back. I'm not too worried, as the last time it came out positive and then with an US confirmed all was okay. I'm not going to change anything, but only did it because I have in the past, and two because of my age, better to be prepared then not.


jsmom - April 25

fluid in the baby's kidneys


Amy - April 25

I had a hard time deciding about the AFP...until I posted on the site a few days ago...i have decided not to have it done...whatever happens will be Gods will...and I would rather not worry..the AFP has a high false positive result...but its really up to you...Hope I have helped...Good luck


Katharine - April 26

After some on-line research showed that there are steps that can be taken in utero (specifically for spina bifida), we decided to have it.


rb - April 26

if i understand correctly, here in canada, we call it the triple screen and this blood test's results are usually false positives - meaning 31 out of 32 done are positive... even if you don't have a baby with down's syndrome... the next step after a positive result is amniocenticis and 1 in 300 people who get amnio done end up having a miscarriage... now based on a possibly false positive and then an amnio, a lot of ppl end up losing perfectly normal and healthy pregnancies... dr's are required to inform patients about them, but mine told me that they are not "suggested" unless you are in your 30's or so... We made the decision not to have the test done because it would probably not change anything.... we'll see i guess, i'm nervous, but don't want to take the chances - good luck!


Stephanie - April 26

Huh...............I had no clue and just scheduled to have this test done on the 10th of May! I think I'll keep the appt. but will still definantly refrain from amnio testing. If it comes out with a posotive I will keep all this in mind and try not worry about it since there is nothing that can be done anyways. Instead I will read up just in case!


L - April 26

Gee, ladies! It sounds like a lot of you are getting a test done at a very unnecessary age!! My doctor is completely against it!!! Along with an amnio! It causes way too much stress and he did mention that there is a very strong possibility of false/positive!!! Don't do it to yourself!!!



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