SomeInfos Header

Down's Syndrome in Pregnancy

Screening tests for Down's syndrome in pregnancy at UHSM All pregnant women will be offered a screening test for Down's syndrome. Please take time to read the leaflet “Screening tests for you and your baby” prior to your first appointment with your midwife.

At your first visit with your midwife you will be informed of the tests for Down's syndrome offered at Wythenshawe hospital. Your midwife will be happy to answer your questions about the tests, so please ask if there is anything you are not clear about. Choosing to have the tests is an important decision for you and your baby. You need to make a decision which is right for you, so please read the following information

Should I have the screening test for Down's syndrome? Only you can decide that. Some women want to know and others do not. Information about the tests and how they work can help you to make up your mind. This leaflet will tell you about the screening tests for Down's syndrome that will be offered to you at UHSM. Your midwife will be happy to answer any questions.

Will the test tell me for certain if the baby has Down's syndrome? Screening tests do not give a definite answer, but they do tell you if you have an increased risk of having a baby with Down's syndrome. If your screening result or your medical history shows you have an increased risk then you will be offered a diagnostic test.

What are diagnostic tests? Diagnostic tests include a chorionic villus sampling (CVS) or an amniocentesis. CVS can be done from 11 weeks of pregnancy. An ultrasound scan is used to guide a fine needle through your vagina or abdomen. A small sample of tissue is taken from the placenta. The sample is analysed in the laboratory and the baby's chromosomes are counted. Amniocentesis can be done from 15 weeks of pregnancy. You will have a scan to check the position of the baby in the womb. A fine needle will then be inserted through your abdomen and a sample of fluid containing the baby's cells is taken from the sac of water around the baby. The sample is examined in the laboratory and the baby's chromosomes are counted. A diagnostic test will give you a definite answer. Your midwife or doctor will be happy to answer any detailed questions you may have about the tests.

What test will I be offered to screen for Down's syndrome?

Combined screening test for Down's syndrome This is the screening test that will be offered to all women having their baby at Wythenshawe hospital. The procedure includes a special ultrasound scan measuring the nuchal translucency (the amount of fluid lying under the skin) at the back of the baby's neck during your dating scan. Following the scan you will have a blood sample taken to complete the test. We can combine the measurement of the nuchal translucency and the blood test to work out the risk.

When can I have the test?

The test must be done between 11 and 14 weeks of pregnancy. At your fist visit with your midwife you will be given an appointment for your dating scan. Women who have made the decision to have a screening test for Down's syndrome will have the combined screening test on this date. You will be given the request forms for your scan and the Down's syndrome test. It is very important to keep these forms safe and to take them to the hospital scan department on the day of your scan appointment.

How long does the test take?

The test has two parts. You will first have your scan which will take approximately twenty minutes. Following the scan you will have the blood test. You will need to allow at least an hour for your hospital appointment. Sometimes it is not possible to measure the nuchal translucency due to certain factors. These factors include the gestation of the pregnancy (number of weeks pregnant), the position of the baby at the time of the test. Your body mass index (BMI). Your midwife will be happy to answer any questions you may have about factors that affect the test procedure.

What happens if I cannot have the test on the planned date?

If your pregnancy gestation is less than eleven weeks you will be given a further appointment for the combined screening test. If your pregnancy gestation is greater than 13 weeks and 6 days you will be offered an alternative test for Down's syndrome at a later date. If the nuchal translucency cannot be measured due to the baby's position or your BMI you will be offered an alternative test for Down's syndrome at a later date. What other screening test for Down's syndrome is offered? Blood test: Quadruple test Blood tests measure the amount of some substances that are found naturally in the mother's blood. These substances have passed to the mother from the baby. A sample of the mother's blood is usually taken at 15 to 20 weeks of pregnancy.

How is my risk for Down's syndrome calculated?

A computer programme uses the results of the blood test and the nuchal translucency measurement together with your age, weight on day of test and gestation of pregnancy (worked out from the dating scan) to work out your risk of having a baby with Down's syndrome.

When and how shall I receive my Down's risk results?

Your results are usually available within two weeks of the test. If your results show you have an increased risk you will usually be contacted by telephone. If your risk is low you will receive a letter confirming this. Please ask your midwife how you will receive your results.

What happens if I have a high-risk result?

You will be contacted by your midwife and offered an appointment to discuss your results with your midwife and a doctor. You will be offered a diagnostic test which would tell you definitely whether your baby has Down's syndrome or not. Your midwife or doctor will be happy to answer any questions you may have about the diagnostic tests.

DISCLAIMER
2 visitors online
SomeInfos Header
SomeInfos Header
Developed by Opti-Web