Screening for Down Syndrome…should I do it?

posted 2 years ago in Pregnancy
  • poll: Should I screen for Down Syndrome?
    Yes : (58 votes)
    82 %
    No : (7 votes)
    10 %
    Wait, they can determine later in your pregnancy. : (6 votes)
    8 %
  • Post # 2
    Member
    8099 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper

    Kendrao :  I assume your doctor is talking about a Nuchal Translucency test? If so I did it because it can uncover loads of other conditions, some of which are not compatible with life. At my appointment they kept saying it was for Downs (because that is the one most people know and are concerned with) and I had to tell the tech to shut up because I didn’t give a crap about Downs, but I had a cousin with an Edwards Syndrome baby and THAT I was afraid of. It all depends on what you would do with the info. My husband and I knew we would likely abort for a diagnosis that was incompatible with life, but we wouldn’t for Downs. 

    Post # 3
    Member
    9504 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: August 2012

    We did the free-cell DNA test (progenity) which is a blood draw with a very low false positive rate. I’m not sure if it’s available to everyone yet though. The regular standard testing does have a history of false positives unfortunately, but again it could be followed up with the free-cell DNA test if anything worrying came up. Plus you get to see your baby on ultrasound.

    There are a lot of things that the doctors can prepare for if they know something is wrong early on. One woman on my birth forum actually had surgery on her baby in utero.

    Personally I did the testing and would do it again, but no one can answer that question for you but yourself.

    Post # 4
    Member
    2942 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: May 2014

    How would knowing change things?  I am not saying this to be mean, but if they found something would it change how you would plan to proceed with your pregnancy/life knowing early?

    Your 20 week ultrasound will take measurements of your baby which can be indicators of Down’s syndrome.  It will probably lead to a lot more tests to confirm.  

    We didn’t for our first pregnancy, as we are low risk. We will for our next pregnancy.  Not for Down syndrome but for trisomy 18 and 13.  The abortion laws in our state changed to 20 weeks, which is the next opportunity to scan for major issues.  Trisomy 18 and 13 are pretty much a death sentence and I (personally) couldn’t deal with that mentally after going through pregnancy.  That is just for me, personally, though.  If we had found out about a Down’s syndrome diagnosis, other than findings services there wouldn’t have been a lot of changes to our plan.  

    Post # 5
    Member
    597 posts
    Busy bee

    Personally, I would not choose to have maternal serum screening done again. My results last time showed an “elevated” risk of DS. I put elevated in quotes because the cutoff for every hospital in Canada is arbitrary and based more on how many people they can process through a level 2 ultrasound than on any sort of statistical reasoning.

    The MSS results come out very late in the pregnancy. I had already felt my baby kick by the time I learned that they may have DS. And of course the results are very very far from conclusive, so in order to be certain, you have to get an amnio, which has a 1/200 chance of ending your pregnancy. We decided that the risk of the amnio was not worth it to us, and the ultrasound showed no other DS markers, so we continued with the pregnancy, and I spent the whole rest of the time wondering about my baby. It was very stressful. I wish I had just bypassed the whole affair and found out what I needed to know on the day they were born.

    Post # 6
    Member
    2984 posts
    Sugar bee

    It depends on what you would do with the information, really. It’s a screening, not diagnostic. So, essentially, it’ll tell you if your child is at a higher risk for Downs, not that they conclusively have it. Most times, at the anatomy scan at around 20 Weeks, they’ll be able to tell if your child does have Downs, or other ‘defects.’

    Personally, we didn’t do it. It wouldn’t have changed our decision to have our baby. And while it could be good to give the parents time to process and research raising/living with a child with Downs, for us, it would have done the opposite. We have no risk factors, and no family history on either side, so there’s no reason to think our child would have it. 

    Some people decide not to continue the pregnancy when they discover their child has a ‘defect.’ We would have never made that decision. Many times, since it’s a screening and not diagnostic, the child actually is born without Downs. 

    It’s a completely personal choice. We had our anatomy scan and our little man is fine. We didn’t need a different test to tell us two months before that he might possibly be more likely than other babies to potentially have Downs. 

    Also, I hate the word ‘defect,’ that’s just what all the medical people called it when we were discussing, so continued with that terminology. 

    Post # 10
    Member
    9222 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper

    It was a no brainer for us. I had an NT scan first and even though we got negative results, for added peace of mind we asked to have the Harmony blood test done too (tests for trisomies 13/18/21 and sex chromosome issues). Those were also negative. False positive rates for the Harmony are <0.1%.

    I agree with a PP though that part of this depends on if you’d consider terminating and even if not, how valuable that extra information would be for you to know early to prepare yourself and your family.

    Post # 13
    Member
    3732 posts
    Sugar bee

    It is just a screening tool and is definitely not 100% accurate. It can help you down the line with making a decision to do more invasive testing, but you can also wait until your anatomy scan which is more accurate, but is still just a screening tool. I was not offered the early test but did do the anatomy scan and found it helpful in making any decisions for more invasive testing (i.e. an amnio).

    Post # 14
    Member
    9961 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: City, State

    I plan to. If the testing uncovers something that will greatly harm the quality of life of the child I would likely abort.

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