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Told not allowed screening tests NI

I previously gave birth in Scotland and have since moved to Northern Ireland. I went to my hospital in Northern Ireland for my 12 week scan and was treated like a criminal for asking about the standard nucal fold measurement; a screening test for downs' syndrome.

I was told they wouldn't do this, I may be allowed the blood screening test at 16weeks but that is still being decided.

The doctor said they do not do the tests due to the chance that a positive result may lead to termination. As a downs syndrome child would require a higher level of care I I wish to be as aware as I can but the religious fanatics in charge of this region so t let me.

Has this happened to anyone else? Can anyone provide an explanation as to why a simple routine test is not being carried out her?

Can anyone help?

7 Replies

I know the laws regarding abortion are very different in Northern Ireland, and were in the news recently because of this. Did they give you a written copy of the report, is anything written there? The other issue is th nuchal thickness needs to be done with the blood test (I had mine same day this time, last time was a day apart) to get a good result of abnormality. Nuchal thickness on its own can of course be indicative.

I guess the only other option is getting ultrasound or something like a harmony test done privately. If termination would not be an option for you anyways, you will find out more at 20 week scan, as this will show major abnormalities which tend to be present in babies with trisomies

You could complain to to the hospital, but if it is truly their policy you might not get anywhere

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Congratulations with your pregnancy.

Since you are already 12 weeks pregnant you don't really have a lot of time to fight hospitals to get the test done in time so I would suggest if you want to get it done, go private. You can still argue with the hospital and you might wish to make a formal complaint but the only option right now is to have a private scan and blood test.

Hope everything works out.


Unfortunately n.ireland is somewhat in the Stone Age. You could if you have time fly back to Scotland or England or maybe someone does it privately there?

If you google you can find some private clinics who do it there so that's probably your best route


And yes it's due to the termination thing - even though some women might choose to keep the pregnancy! I guess they just want women kept in the dark :(


I live in the USA and they recommend these test! I recently had the genetic testing done at 13 weeks pregnant called the (Panorama Genetic Test) Through a blood test. Came back negative thanks heavens. However they offered me another test I believe it's called the Amniocentesis test with a needle to draw fluids from amniotic sac for further genetic testing and I was told 1% of women miscarriage from the testing so I declined that testing ! No need anyway since first testing was negative! It's unfortunate how other areas handle things ! Good luck and hopefully your wishes are fulfilled somehow 💕


The difference is the USA is private system so every test done they get paid for

Privately. The blood test you are mentioning isn't available throughout the NHS (England too) and where available is only offered to high risk mums

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You can get it privately in England for £300-ish.


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