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Pros/Cons of Triple Screen Test
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Pros/Cons of Triple Screen Test

I will be right at 18 weeks at my next doctor's appointment and the midwife asked if I was interested in the triple screen test.  Did any of you have it?  I am only 26, which should be a low risk for Down Syndrome.  Also, she said there was a very high false positive rate.  Would taking it just set me up for unneeded worry?  I appreciate your thoughts and comments.  Thanks.
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130384_tn?1221596627
There is no right or wrong choice with this topic.  You do whatever you feel most comfortable with.

I did not have the quad screen done on either of my babies (I'm currently 31w with second baby).  I'm perfectly happy with my choice.  I did not want the stress of a false positive and no matter the result I would not abort, so my choice was fairly easy.

Do whatever is best for you.  Lots of women here have had it, and I can't think of any off-hand that did get a false positive.
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I agree with jety, no right or wrong answer the choice is yours and yours alone, there have been few false pos as she said, I have never had it done before bec knew what ever the outcome we would deal with it.
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First, this is really long - I hope it helps, though!  While it is a really tough decision for some, it is easier for others (a/k/a the "would never abort" folks).  BUT, remember the Quad screen tests for genetic abnormality possibilities other than Downs, which would end in fetal death or death after birth if not aborted.  While I would never abort for Downs, I personally would have wanted to abort for Trisomy 18 (certain fetal death pre birth) or for Trisomy 13 (certain death shortly after birth).  That's a tough decision for all - I would have aborted in those cases, because it would be devastating to carry a dying baby.  NOW, I am 35 years old and just about 4 weeks ago had the Quad and tested negative.  I went back and forth on the Quad or amnio and finally chose the Quad, because I didn't want any risk to the fetus with amnio (though the risk is infinitesmal).  I then had the big u/s and everything measured great, so that's double the reassurance that everything is going well.  If you tested positive for the quad, you could have the big u/s right after (instead of amnio, which is also recommended as a second step, but you are 26 and probably wouldn't have it recommended to you), and the big u/s usually can rule out with high probability if there are those genetic issues.  My husband is a statistical analyst in his line of work, and he really helped me to understand the statistics of the quad and amnio.  Amnio is about 99% accurate as a diagnostic test (meaning, it will tell you for sure at a 99% accuracy rate, whether or not your baby has one of those genetic abnormalites).  The quad, which is not diagnostic - it gives probability only - will tell you with 80-90% accuracy if your baby is likely to have a genetic abnormality.  There is a high false positive rate, AND 97% of quad screen positives end up being false (negative).  SO, those odds were good enough for me, knowing that the follow up u/s would be even more evidence that those genetic abnormalities are probably not present.  For me, those probabilities outweighed my anxiety over dealing with the infinitesmal odds of miscarrying due to amnio.  It's all a very personal decision.  Hopefully your significant other will be there to assist you in your decision-making.  My husband was supportive of whatever I wanted to do and was very honest in giving his opinions which really helped.  I am now just about 20 weeks and feeling movement every day and thrilled I did the quad.  Good luck!  
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I'm experiencing the same situation here..I'm not coming up on 18 weeks or anything, I'm only in my 9th, but my husband and I have been trying to decide what to do.  On one hand, we want to be prepared for anything, regardless of the fact that we will absolutely NOT abort in any situation, but on the other hand, because we wouldn't abort, why would be want to wonder if our results are real or not??  I don't think I would want an amnio done, so if we get a pos, we wouldn't have any proof and only fear and worrying.  So, it's a tough call...I think we are just postponing it because we talked about it a few times and couldn't decide.  Maybe time and talking with others will help.  I know you will make the right decision for you, and I wish you the best in deciding what that is.
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Thanks ladies for your insight.  I am torn right now.  I guess DH and I will just have to keep talking it over for the next couple of weeks.  I am a special education teacher myself so I know that people with disabilities can certainly live full lives, but I still worry about what the future holds!  Thanks to all of you!

Hulahut- your answer was especially clear thanks!
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Avatar_f_tn
My daughter went for her first u/s last month there they found bilateral cysts on her brain, which we were told was either nothing or T 18, she went for a level 2 u/s where they said it looks like the non threatening kind but they went on with the u/s looking for the hands to open close so, she is going back for 2nd u/s this thurs. to make sure the cysts are shrinking, if they determine that they are not then she will still continue with this preg. trying to give her baby a chance, what if the test is wrong, all this for nothing, we will trust in God and only Him, not in the stats they show us, or the tech who read them, as far as the amnio, there is 1 in 250 done that end up in m/c, I cant imagine going through a preg with a false pos. the worry pain I want a happy preg. if things turn differently the we handle what ever comes our way.
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FYI: For anyone interested in amnio, the 1 in 250 odds of miscarrying is an antiquated statistic from the 1970s that has recently been updated in the JAMA (journal of Am med assoc) to increase the odds to 1 in 1600, as per my OB and the journal itself.  This update was made in 2006.
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164559_tn?1233711618
Hello and congratulations on your pregnancy.  As you can see from all the posters, we all have differant opinions.

I had all the noninvasive screening tools they could give me with my ds, I was 36 when he was born.  I am 40 now and pregnant ( surprise blessing, still in shock).  I will have all the tests again.  If somthing shows up I may consider amnio.  But I am very scared of the procedure as I have a friend who mc her baby due to an infection from amnio.  She almost died as well.  

I would carry a special needs baby and be proud to be his or her mummy.  I would need to prepare my family.
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Avatar_f_tn
The risk is higher in first trimester lower in the 2nd, my stats might be off but invasive non the less, try other methods before choosing one that sticks a needle in you belly near your baby, I hope this isnt to much for for you just a bunch of oppions, good luck.
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I doubt anyone would suggest amnio during your first trimester (or any trimester for that matter), given your age. Momof11 is right, as it is riskier then.  Also, triple screen is done in first trimester, and the quad screen is done in the second trimester.  Good luck!  
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Hulahut... I had an amnio back in October and my doctor still quoted the 1 in 250 ratio, so the number is still in question as far as some OBs go.

In that same sense, I got the quad screen with all three of my children.  All three times, the test came back negative.  However, during this pregnancy, during the routine ultrasound in October, (I had the more in depth measurements ultrasound as I will be 35 when I deliver and am considered advanced maternal age), during that ultrasound, the sonographer found some warning signs of Downs (abnormal nuchal thickening and a gap between teh great toe and second toe).

due to the ultrasound findings and my age, the chances of my baby having Downs was 1 in 16.  However, because I had the normal quad screen, that went down to like 1 in 200.  My husband and I consented to the amnio because we needed time to prepare "just in case" and the odds of the baby having downs were greater than something going wrong with the ultrasound.  

Thankfully, all tests came back normal and I'm 3 weeks from my due date with our first son.  

So, to answer, I guess you first have to decide how important it is to you that you know before birth if there is something wrong.  At 26, I wouldnt worry  much tho.
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Hope I spelled the screen name correctly.  Anyway, the new study was quoted to me in December, as it came out in November, so I'm not surprised your OB quoted the old number.  In fact, not all OBs are quoting the new number now, as I'm finding from friends, because they don't even know about the new number.  In any event, I'm not sure how everyone is taking what I'm saying as advice (if anyone is), because I'm NOT giving advice - just information and my experience.  I would never encourage anyone to do anything, including amnio. Just want to give my experience.  Somehow I think people think I'm trying to push amnio (I didn't even do it, so I don't have first-hand experience).  I'm trying to get people to know what I've been told over the past few months that REALLY helped me with my decisions.  Anyway, I am hormonal now, and I'm beginning to feel like my comments about amnio are being misunderstood, and it's upsetting. So, I'll be signing off this thread.  Hopefully my informtion helped.  Good luck and baby dust to all of us.
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You're welcome!  Oh, and the first publication was the journal of am. obstetrics (or something like that) on the amnio statistic for m/c. And, my dear brother is a special needs person, so I am very close to how capable folks with special needs are.  Again, best of luck, and whatever choice you end up making, don't look back and do trust yourself.
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I too am torn about the triple screen. Preg with 3rd child. My midwife highly recommends it. I was 26 when I had my 2nd child. I failed the triple screen test and was convinced I was carrying a Down's baby. I had a Level 2 u/s and everything was fine. That was a lot of worrying though. I had to wait 4 weeks for the u/s. I read on the internet that there is a high rate of false positives with this test.
I reason this time that it is an indicator for spinal deficits as well, and there are great possibilities for surgeries for fetus' in utero if found early enough.
Overall, I'm not thrilled with  the false positives...
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Avatar_n_tn
i to dont care for the triple screen test there are to many false positives,i have 3 children and this test was never offered to me,and i am now 29 with my forth child on the way and i had the triple screen test done,not knowing what this test was for becouse my doctor didnt explain the test to me i just thought it was just a routine blood test, i didnt know i had a choice to have the test done till after, and my screen test came back positive and they offerd me to have a level 2 u/s done and they said if the u/s cameback positive i would have a choice and i refused any further testing becouse no matter what i will keep my child,and all the reading ive done about these test theres allways to many false positives to much worry for the mother and stress, the only way i agree on these tests is in certian cercumstances,so if your pregnancy is going normal i dont feel its nessecary,but we all have our difftrent opions and every mother should do what she feels is right.
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