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How many women have had a false positive test for Down's Syndrome?

I just found out that my blood screening test came back positive for Down's syndrome. I'm 22 years old. The baby's father is 28. He has two healthy children already. Neither of us have any family history of Down's syndrome or any other disorders. I did a lot of research already about false positives and found that they are very common. Also my 19th week ultrasound didn't raise any red flags. Everything looked normal. I am scheduled to go back for another ultrasound and genetic counseling in a week. I'm also wondering if I should do amniocentesis just to make sure.. Any information on this matter would be greatly appreciated.

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Asked by Anonymous at 6:50 PM on Sep. 29, 2010 in Pregnancy

Answers (10)
  • Are you speaking of AFP testing? Because those can come up positive when they aren't. Age isn't neccesarily a factor, my best friend had her son at 19 and he has downs. Wait for them to do an ultrasound. They can usually check a certain vertebra on baby which will let you know for sure.

    Answer by Musicmom80 at 6:53 PM on Sep. 29, 2010

  • AFP measures risk only. My risk came back elevated at 1/157 which raises a red flag....and that really boils down to .7% chance of a chromosomal problem. That was then followed up by a level 2 u/s where they look for both soft and hard markers of downs or other chromosomal abnormalities. The only way to know 100% is to have an amnio. I assessed the risk and chose not to. My son was born and did not have downs syndrome or any other chromosomal abnormality.


    Answer by Syphon at 6:54 PM on Sep. 29, 2010

  • Sixteen years ago with my 2nd child I was also 22 and I also had a false positive with no family history on either side. I decided without hesitation to do an amniocentesis. Which came back negative and everything was perfect with our baby. IMO, I would do the Amnio just to ease your mind because you will be worried and stressed for the rest of your pregnancy and that can cause problems as well. Better to know now than later.

    Answer by Congenial at 7:05 PM on Sep. 29, 2010

  • Based on the screening, I was automatically considered at risk because of my age... But that's all it is, a screening. Nothing definite about it, and yes, there are a LOT of false positives. I ended up having an amnio, just to put my own mind at ease.

    Answer by Anouck at 7:08 PM on Sep. 29, 2010

  • Those are known for not being accurate. And anyone can have a child with Down's Syndrome. No matter age or history.

    If it were me, I would skip further testing and continue with pregnancy as I had already been doing. I would have my baby and wouldn't change a thing except check ups for heart and other issues that happen with DS kids if my baby just happen to actually have it. No need to subject to all the test just for Down's..

    Answer by BradenIsMySon at 7:08 PM on Sep. 29, 2010

  • Just for Downs? It causes mental and physical problems. You are telling me if you were in the same situation, you wouldn't want to know for sure?

    Answer by Kelli1012 at 7:17 PM on Sep. 29, 2010

  • No, I wouldn't I know lot's of folks with Down's. There is no reason to know for sure beforehand. What can I do about it anyway? Why have a possible miscarriage with an amniocentesis? Why go through all that? If they have it, they have it. U/S is as invasive as I want. Even if my child had anencephaly, I would know from the ultrasound and know to have a c-section in that case. But, a Down's baby can be born vaginally.

    Answer by BradenIsMySon at 7:27 PM on Sep. 29, 2010

  • Me personally, I would do the amnio and find out for sure. I would have more time to come to terms with it, and research what special needs my child may have when he is born so that I'm ready for him.

    Answer by Musicmom80 at 7:29 PM on Sep. 29, 2010

  • i agree w bradens mom theres no changing what it is and checking does run a small risk, but if you cant wait bc i know it would bother some ppl to wait possibly myself but idk bc i havent been there then do it

    Answer by Kre10 at 7:46 PM on Sep. 29, 2010

  • With my 1st son, it came back 2nd son came back 1 in 250 or something...I'm pregnant with my third and a year older and the test came back 1 in 1700... I'm not sure how they came up with these numbers. It doesnt' make sense to me...Anyway, my second son is fine..

    Answer by heidi_val at 9:26 PM on Sep. 29, 2010

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