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Thread: 1st trimester screening--help!

  1. #1
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    Question 1st trimester screening--help!

    Ok so I have my appt today and on the list of things to do is the first trimester screening...but I have a question I hope we can get answered quickly...I should have asked this days ago.

    So the first trimester screening is for genetic anomaly, it has a lower false positive rate than the second trimester tests or quad screen. It is in two parts: blood test and ultrasound.

    Blood test is for: pregnancy-associated plasma protein-A and human chorionic gonadotropin--just my blood so not scary or anything.

    Ultrasound is also called the Nuchal Translucency (or NT) screening. It checks for free fluid in the baby's neck which can be an indicator of a problem.


    Here is the problem: my insurance only pays for one u/s a trimester and I had mine already. They will pay for the blood test though. So is the screening useless without the NT screening or can we get usable results from just the blood test?

    It's not that I wouldn't love another u/s, I just don't know what the out of pocket cost is and I'm trying to minimize those as much as possible.
    Natalie [31] DH [40] 9/01, 1/06 NaturallyNatalie's Hair Accessories!

  2. #2
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    It's my understanding that the only thing this really checks for is Downs. right? If so, I guess it's a personal preference as to how important it is to know that ahead of time for you. Does it run in your family? are you at risk for it at all? would it even matter if you were? When it comes to spending money on things like this, you just have to weigh the importance.

    I do think you can get results from the blood test, but it's just a percentange of your likelihood of having these disorders. The u/s would just help confirm or deny.

    We refused all screening tests in the first trimester. We decided that it wouldn't matter what Charlie had, we would love her anyway. However, I'm sure you remember my shock when they found a Down's marker on her 2nd trimester u/s. I was devestated and felt like I had failed her by not getting the test in the 1st tri. However, all that would have done is let me know earlier, we would have never changed anything. Also, that marker was gone by her 3rd tri u/s, so I was worried for no reason.

    I guess i have no real answers for you, and I'm sorry! LOL. You could also always make another appt for the u/s before your 1st tri is over if you want to take some time to think it over. you don't HAVE to do anything right now.

    ETA: I got the blood work done in the 2nd tri after that u/s showed the marker. I was told that my results were very low risk for her having Downs. So even with a marker on the u/s, they were satisfied with the blood work, so I'm assuming it could be the same for you?
    Last edited by KayDub; 12-12-2013 at 09:48 AM.
    Me (28) DH (32) DSD (9) DD (born 12/22/13)

  3. #3
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    Just my 2 cents. I chose not to get any screenings done, even at my "advanced maternal age". I currently don't have insurance (it kicks in in Jan). My doctor told me that the first trimester screening will need follow-up tests to confirm any positives. She suggested I just wait until my big u/s to see if the baby had any markers and then do tests if such markers were found. She said every chromosomal abnormality is very obvious on the u/s at that stage except Down's is not as obvious. So if you are concerned about extra u/s's then maybe just wait until the big one at around 20 weeks?

    As for cost, my big u/s cost me $800 (after cash deduction). I don't have insurance right now so have had to pay out of pocket for everything. The labs were more expensive than the u/s so it is a good thing your insurance covers them.
    Dayna (37) DH (38) DD (6) DS1 (3) DS2 3-31-14

  4. #4
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    No it wouldn't matter to us if the baby has Downs, its just a matter of being prepared if necessary.

    Going to my appt soon so I think I will decide based on u/s cost and if they will do only the bloodwork.

  5. #5
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    Yeah, I totally agree with being prepapred, but like dayna said, they can see the markers at your 20 wk u/s... sometimes even better... and you can get bloodwork done then too. I know I was after 15 weeks when the marker showed and I got my bw done.
    Me (28) DH (32) DSD (9) DD (born 12/22/13)

  6. #6
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    I honestly don't know since I've always opted out. I'll be getting it done this pg in light of my age, DOR, and the methotrexate last spring. We want to be prepared if we are at a higher risk.
    Dh (39) Me (37) 8bio 1adopted, 14 angels






  7. #7
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    Well they wouldn't do one or the other, it had to be both so I opted out. I knew there would be other tests later so that made it an easier decision. More in my thread.
    Natalie [31] DH [40] 9/01, 1/06 NaturallyNatalie's Hair Accessories!

  8. #8
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    Blood test will be more accurate. It was a routine test with my 1st pregnancy but they don't bother here with nuchal ultrasound at all. I didn't get with 2nd and won't get with this baby.
    Miss T (10.17.2008) Miss A(06.30.2012) Flipper #3 due 06.2014
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