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Down Syndrome testing..... why are their so many different answers from CM users??

I am confused because whenever I read posts about SCREENING tests for down syndrome or other trisomies, most if not all women say that they are inaccurate and "always" wrong, false positives, etc. So IF they are wrong - then why do Drs. do them??? Also - aren't they just "screener" tests that give you an idea of whether or not you MAY be carrying a child with a disability?
Also - it is my understanding that there are tests that 100% - Amniothensis and the Chorionic villus sampling (CVS) test. The CVS test is done in first trimester and the Amnio is done in second, correct.
I guess I am a little unclear and wonder what is the TRUTH and why there are so many different anwers about the subject.


Asked by Anonymous at 4:19 PM on Apr. 6, 2009 in Pregnancy

This question is closed.
Answers (9)
  • I just had the testing done and came back with some frightening results. We met with a genetic counselor last week who explained the way the screening tests work really well. Basically, it's all statistics. As in, how likely will it be to happen, based on your blood work compared to other moms who've had the tests. Of course, most women say they have "false positives" because it's usually a result like "you have a 1 in 100 chance". That means 99 babies are perfectly fine! She compared it to predicting the weather. They look at the similarities in you compared to when other women had these babies and give you your odds. There's nothing "diagnostic" about these tests. Chances are really good that the baby is fine!

    Yes, the amnio and CVS are the only things that can tell you for 100% certain. Blood work and ultrasounds are just screening, to give the doctors more data to put into the statistical equation.

    Answer by goldenfox at 6:44 PM on Apr. 6, 2009

  • My advice to you is to discuss this with your doctor. Most of us, as perspective moms, will not accept the results of tests. We choose to hold on to the hope that the test results can be incorrect because they are given with a margin of error. I think we can all give examples of parents that were told one thing and the baby be absolutely fine. If you had a test of inquiry and found your unborn baby will be born with some type of defect, what would you do? If you will keep that child and love it no matter what, don't worry about test results.

    Answer by jesse123456 at 4:26 PM on Apr. 6, 2009

  • Because there will always be different opinions about them. The triple screen is very inaccurate, in the fact that it can not tell you if you are carrying a child with any of those abnormalities. Women who do not realize this, get a positive, and freak out. Some women don't understand that it just estimates the chances of your child being born with the abnormality. Even the estimates can be wrong and there is absolutely nothing to fear. More testing may have not even been needed, which is why a lot of women just refuse it all together. Like me. I don't do it at all.

    I don't know the accuracy of amniocentesis or CVS, but anything invasive is taking a huge risk. The risk of miscarriage with an amnio is pretty scary. Amnio is done between 16 and 20 weeks usually. CVS is done earlier, but still carries miscarriage risks so they both shouldn't be done unless 100 percent positive it NEEDS to be done.

    Answer by celticreverie at 4:27 PM on Apr. 6, 2009

  • Also, most people wont abort a fetus for suspected abnormalities either. I wouldn't.

    Answer by celticreverie at 4:27 PM on Apr. 6, 2009

  • Great question! The AFP screening test doesn't test for Down's, but it tells you if you have markers in your blood that make your baby more at risk for Down's and a few other diseases. This is recomended more for older women because the risk increases with age. If it shows positive for the markers then usually a more involved ultrasound is done to confirm. Also the 20 week ultrasound they measure behind the neck to see how thick the skin and fat cells there are because that is another "risk" factor. If you test pos for either of these tests that's when they decide to do an amnio. The AFP test does have alot of false positives, and alot of women dont get it done at all because they dont want the stress of freaking over it untill they find out for sure through an ultrasound or an amnio, it just causes more stress than it relieves, either way the 20 week u/s will tell you the risk for it too.

    Answer by AK_aries at 4:27 PM on Apr. 6, 2009

  • They do a screening as a "broad spectrum" to narrow down your chances etc. They do them so if you do get back a chance you can opt for more invasive tests ( Amnio). The reason why their are so many false positives on "screenings" is because you change the odds when you get the screening done.. for instance you could have a ONE out of 15,000 chance of having a baby w/ downs/etc. and the screening will come back positive ( because of the one percent). It can cause un necessary worry in mothers to be.

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:29 PM on Apr. 6, 2009

  • Why do they keep doing the triple screen when there are so many false results?

    The same reason they keep selling douches even though the product is bad for you.

    The same reason that keep selling cigarettes.

    Money money money...there's money to be made.

    Answer by gdiamante at 4:44 PM on Apr. 6, 2009

  • When we got our ultrasound done at 18 weeks they said that she had some fluid in her kidneys which is a sign of down syndrome, but they drew blood and said that I got the best score you could ever get and most likely she does not have anything. I also asked my doctor and he said that with all his years of experience, which is a lot, he never had any baby come out with down syndrome if they had some fluid in their kidneys. He said for me to worry more about my placenta being low than worrying about if our baby has it.

    I just felt a lot better when I heard the news that I got the best score you can get. I think they do the tests to scare us. I mean there are many false positives. I think if there is a chance they shouldn't tell you until after the baby is born and if they can test them then and see.

    Answer by fallin4aSOLDIER at 4:47 PM on Apr. 6, 2009

  • I dont know cause I refused that test when I was pregnant with my son. It didnt matter weather he had a disability or not, hes my child. Its natural for moms and expecially first time mom to worry about that stuff but even if your child has downsyndrom theres really nothing you can do to prepare for it. You wont know what challenge your going to be taking on untill the babys actually here. Regardless you love your child wether or not theres something wrong.

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:37 PM on Apr. 6, 2009