to have the downs test or not?

Just wondered what people's thoughts are on having the test for Downs syndrome? I have my 12 week scan on 7th May - 1st pregnancy. I'm 35 so a little older in the scheme of things and just not sure what to do for the best. If we come out as high risk i'm worried i'll spend the rest of my pregnancy stressing about it? what are peoples opinions?

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  • Hi,

    I've had the blood test and the nuchal translucency test at the scan for both of my pregnancies. I was 22 during my first pregnancy and am 24 now so was considered low risk any way and fortunately all of the results have given me a low risk result. My reasoning behind deciding to go ahead with the tests was that if there was a high risk of me delivering a Down's syndrome child I would want the time to mentally prepare for the challenge and to research the condition before the birth - it's only when I came to make this decision that I realised how little I actually know about Down's syndrome!

    Personally I would continue with a Down's syndrome pregnancy and therefore would decline an amniocentesis to confirm either way due to the risk of miscarriage, so deciding to have the initial tests was purely in order to prepare myself, just in case.

    It's such a personal decision, there isn't a right or wrong answer - I hope the reasoning behind my decision helps you a little :-)

    Ps. Just for the sake of offering a little reassurance, my mum had a baby at the grand old age of 42 and had a perfectly healthly little girl :-)

  • I had it, not that it would have altered my feelings towards Flump. I'm 37, this is my first, and my risk came out as lower than my age adjusted population risk (same as a 32 year old) and I didn't need an amnio or chorion - it doesn't mean my pregnancy is safe, although there is no evidence of anything on subsequent scans. Personally, I wanted to be able to plan for the future if there was a high risk of having a child with a physical/developmental condition, as that really would be life changing.

  • I'm def having the combined scan. I'm 39 so at quite a high risk, but like the above posts, if it determines me as high risk I'd like time to prepare. I would only go through the rest of my pregnancy worrying if the baby would be ok when born otherwise...

  • I haven't had any of the extra testing that was offered. I'm not sure I could go through with an amnio so decided not to have the first tests. If they came back high risk I would only end up worrying. I really think it's a personal choice though.

  • I had it I'm 39 my scan came back but waiting for bloods.think is not just down but for other chromosomal syndromes and the amnio determines what they are..a mum up the school has an amnio with all three of her girls and was fine this reassured me but obviously there is the risks that go with it.... If u know u would have a child with downs then no need to have it x

  • Like everyone says, it is purely a personal choice. Trust your instincts. I got pregnant around my 38th birthday, couldn't have the nuchal scan as Squiggly was moving too much but had the quad test which came back low risk. I have no idea how the risk factor given to me compares with any other age group and certainly it doesn't offer a definitive answer but considering my age and a few bleeds I had (not age related) I'm still considered low risk at my age and still feel that if I was lucky I would certainly want a second baby if that was possible for me. I can understand the dilemma and hope that the comments above serve you in some way to reaching a decision that is right for you. Good luck. x

  • Thanks everyone so much for some great advice. I definitely wouldn't terminate under any circumstances but would like to be prepared as some of you have said. Not willing to have amnio either though so still unsure but hearing your thoughts is really very useful. Especially as we havent really told anyone other than parents yet so still feel it's a big secret. can't wait for scan so i can tell people and get some reassurance from friends who have had children. Just all a bit overwhelming at the moment and time seems to be going in slow motion waiting for scan date!!! Glad i found you guys - what a great forum. no doubt i shall have more questions to follow! Thanks again

  • Amniocentesis isn't anywhere near as bad as it sounds. Done under ultrasound guidance with local anaesthesia - much less barbaric than the epidural many if us will be beginning for!!! Risk of miscarriage today is nearer 0.5% compared to the often cited 3% - and is much less in very experienced hands.

  • I refused the test on all 3 of my pregnancies, just personal choice really. I dont know why I said no i dont have a reason.

  • Do the blood test if your unsure that way if your results come back very low then no need to do the amniocentesis. Good luck x

  • btw, my 12 week scan is on 7th May too :)

    Good luck to you!!!

    eeeeeeek :) xx

  • Hi, I decided against it as I decided I would want my baby regardless. If you do the test at the scan and the percentage likelihood comes back high, then you would have to have an amniocensis to confirm it. If you have this there is 1 in 100 chance it would cause you to miscarriage and you could lose a healthy baby. If you had a high likelihood from the nuchal measurement and then decided not to have the further test to confirm then you are no nearer to knowing, the only thing for sure is that you would spend the rest of the pregnancy worried. Of course everyone has to make their own mind up as the feelings and choices involved are all individual but this was my reasoning for declining the tests. I suppose I am a great believer in what will be will be. Good luck with whatever you decide x

  • I came out as high risk, 1 in 85, and was offered an amniocentisis and lots of support to help me make the decision. I decided against the amino due to the slight risk (0.5%) of miscarriage as my partner and I decided being our first it wouldn't make a difference as we would still want the baby. Although it did prey on hubbys mind a lot during my pregnancy.

    Am now pregnant with my second and low risk but my husband had told me if I came out high risk again he would want me to have the amino as although we would still want the child he would want to be prepared and prepare our daughter (although have to say I still wasn't keen). We we going to refuse the test second time initially but then decided to go for it as last time when we got to the Birth Centre we were warned that if baby had downs they didn't have the facilities to support it there and so it was a risk for us (no one had told us this when the planning the birth!) So is something worth checking :-)

    If you are high risk there is lots of support available through your pregnancy if you want it whether you have the amino or not. So the main factor maybe to consider whether you would worry more by not having the screening than if you had it and were high risk...

  • I had a very healthy little boy 12 weeks ago, I'm 41 and feel incredibly lucky. I had blood tests to find out the odds which were thankfully low, so I didn't have the amniocentisis. I would have had it if we were high risk just to know. My friend was very high risk after the blood tests, had the amnio and everything was fine which meant she could relax for the second half of her pregnancy. I had a couple of 4d scans which can be very reassuring. I don't know what they look for but the doctor said there were no signs of downs. I felt the risk of miscarriage with the aminio was too much of a risk when my odds were low, and we would never terminate anyway. I think you should do whatever feels right for you. I know we are high risk over 35, but it is still very unlikely that anything will go wrong. X

  • Also have to remember its only a risk factor not a guaranteed yes or no x

  • i had it done with my daughter who due next week,the odds are a 1 in million but it better to have it to be prepared for the risk,which is very unlikely that anything go wrong x

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