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The simplest test for Down Syndrome is an ultrascreen. This is usually performed at the end of your first trimester, around week 13. The test includes an ultrasound, where a technician measures the width of your baby's neck. There is also a blood test. The test is not 100% accurate, but depending on the results, your doctor can recommend if you should go for additional tests. Another, more invasive, test for genetic abnormalities is Chorionic villus sampling (CVS), where a sample of placental tissue is removed and tested. Most doctors won't recommend this test unless the pregnancy is high risk or other factors would suggest that this test would be helpful. The good thing about CVS is that it can be done earlier in pregnancy than an amniocentesis (10-12 weeks, as opposed to 14-16 weeks for an amnio).
The thing to remember about the Triple Screen (where they measure the fluid sack on the baby's neck, called the nuchal fold, and do a few other tests) is that it is far from 'accurate.' If 1000 women were to take the test, probably 50 would be referred for additional testing. Maybe 1% of these women would actually have a baby with down syndrome. So, if you do agree to this test, keep in mind that if it comes back 'positive' it means that your baby is probably fine anyway. Also, before you consider screenings such as these, ask yourself which of the following categories you fall into:A) You would abort a baby with down syndromeB) You wouldn't abort the baby no matter what If you fall into 'B,' ask yourself if you really want to spend your pregnancy worrying about this child - taking the test will not change the results, and if you're a worrier it could be better for the baby to not be subjected to the stress hormones your worrying would create.
I have decided to not get the test due to a friend's experience. She was told that her son had down syndrome and was pressured by her doctor to make "the right decision." She changed her doctor and had a healthy baby boy without down syndrome. I also have two cousins with down syndrome and they bring more joy to my family through their perspective on life. I am hoping, and praying for a healthy child, but I do know that I can take what God gives me.
the accuracy rate depends on which test you get but still is only 84%- only one offers 93% at best and this one is performed into your second trimester. It also only tells you your risk level, the only way they can do an actual test on the baby is to do an amniocentisis, and because this procedure is so risky they will only do that if your risk level is extremely high and if your insurance will cover it. So you should first think about is that going to stress you more than needed especially with not being that reliable. they offer the test so early because some would opt not to bring a child into that. I have decided to get one in my second trimester just so if the risk is there I can do research and be knowlegdable before the birth.