Post # 1
I just scheduled mine and don’t really know what to expect. I am thinking they must have to take fluid from the embryo in order to test but I have no clue. Anyone done this? Is it painful/uncomfortable?
Post # 3
Typically, they dont do that (take tissue or fluid) at the first screen. Those are called an amniocentesis (taking fluid) or CVS (taking tissue from the placenta near the fetus), and they typically only do that if your results from your first screen come back with high risk odds.
They will do a normal blood test (mine was a finger prick) and do an ultrasound to look for “markers” that can be typical to downs syndrome (ie, short femur bone, absence of the nasal bridge, and the nuchal fold thickness.) Its painless, and just an ultrasound to start. They will combine that with your blood test results to come up with the “odds” that the fetus has something genetically wrong with it, and you can discuss options from there. Dont get too worked up over it =o)
Post # 4
@KellyV: Thank you! I appreciate your answer! At first my doctor said I could do it no earlier than June 6th, so I scheduled an appt for June 15th. The nurse I just spoke with told me that was too late and I HAD to do it the week of the 6th. Could 1 week really make a difference? It would be 12 weeks vs 13 weeks.
Post # 5
@Anewmommatobe: yes, the week definitely makes a difference. It MUST be done by 13 weeks but no earlier than 10 or 11 (from what I remember.) At that point, the nuchal fold thickness regulates, so that marker isnt a good measure. Also after that point, the femur bones and nasal bridge could be formed, so it essentially takes away all of the pre-deterministic markers. Its mostly for the nuchal fold from what I understand. So definitely get this in right in the middle of the recommended timeframe
Post # 6
@Anewmommatobe: KellyV is right – the first test is just a blood test to determine the babies “odds” of having something – there are further (more invasive) tests that will be done if the tests come back with certain levels.
But timing makes a HUGE difference. Depending on the test it has to be done at a certain time. We had a Quad Screen done and it had to be done between 16-18 weeks. Basically with any of the tests they need to date the baby correctly so that they know what levels to look for in the results.
Your test is a little different (since it’s earlier than ours) but they drew a vial of blood for mine (rather than a finger prick) because they were testing for multiple things. You may still have 2nd trimester testing similar to the one I did.
Post # 7
Like KellyV, our first screen was an ultrasound and a blood test. Totally painless! And if you haven’t had an ultrasound yet, it’s fun to get that first sneak peek at your baby!
Post # 8
The first trimester combined screening (blood test and ultrasound to measure the nuchal tranlucency) can be performed up until 14 weeks according to the info my OB provided, as well as “What to Expect When You’re Expecting.” I had mine done at 13 weeks 2 days. If you really need your appointment to be during your 13th week instead of your 12th week, call your doctor’s office back and ask the nurse to double check with your doctor.
Post # 9
also remember that you don’t HAVE to do this screening — some women opt out since it doesn’t actually tell you whether your baby will have a downs syndrome or another genetic disorder, but will instead estimate your risk. if your risk is high beyond a certain point, your doctor will probably recommend that you have the more invasive diagnostic tests (amniocentesis or CVS) done.
i’m not suggesting that you do or do not get the screening – it should definitely be your personal choice. but you should also be aware of your options. of course, many women find comfort in knowing their risk — if it’s very low it’s comforting, and if it’s high you can know take control of the situation and at least know what to expect. but i opted out of it and was appalled by how weird the nurses and staff treated me in my following appts because apparently not many at that practice opt out of that test. but if the screening results will cause you nothing but worry, and depending on what you would do with that information (would you get an amnio/CVS if the risk was high? would you consider terminating the pregnancy?) it may or may not benefit you to have the test done.
Post # 10
They may be telling you to do the test sooner than later not because of the test itself, but because IF you are higher risk, CVS should be done at 13 weeks, otherwise you would wait for amnio around 16. Maybe they just want to get the results back in time for you to make a decision about further testing, if need be.
I had both CVS and amnio in the same pregnancy because we got a false positive with the CVS, so if you find they want to do further testing (and more importantly YOU want to do further testing) I recommened – totally non-pro of course, just based on our experience) waiting for amnio. The results we got were based on an issue with the placenta that we only got with CVS and had nothing to do with our baby. Amnio is 100% baby cells and is more accurate. Feel free to PM me if you have questions about the procedures for CVS and Amnio (but my fingers are crossed that you don’t need either!!)
Good luck and don’t be scared!
Post # 11
Weeks make a difference, but it’s also worth talking to your doctor (rather than the nurse or the receptionist who schedules appts) to get their opinion on when you need to come in– and at the same time you can ask about what the procedure they want you to do is so you can do your own homework on it– as PPs have said, there’s so many types of tests and they all have to happen at certain times, have various levels of accuracy, etc. It’s good to know what you’re in for.
Also, this wasn’t mentioned before, but CVS is typically done between 10-14 wks. Amnios are done at wk 15 at the earliest, so the timing of your earlier screenings will really make a difference in what more invasive procedures/testing you can do.
I can’t speak to amnios, but the CVS was indeed painful for me, which seems to be an unusual thing so take that with a grain of salt. I don’t think my experience was “normal”. PM me if you have any questions on the CVS, but here’s hoping you won’t need it and the blood and/or NT screenings will be enough.