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Mothering › Groups › December 2012 Due Date Club › Discussions › What prenatal tests are you having?

What prenatal tests are you having?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

I am trying to decide right now.  I am looking at the first trimester screen, the new MaterniT21 test, and the quad screen.  I am leaning toward the first trimester (sequential) screen since it's more accurate than the quad screen.  What tests are you planning, and how did you decide?

post #2 of 21



I am having the integrated screening (the new name for the quad screen, maybe?) I will be 38 when I deliver, and while the odds are still waaay in my favor for having a totally healthy baby, I am a person who likes to be armed with data. That said, I do know that the test can have a false positive, which would mean putting me in the 'consider an amnio' camp, which I am less certain about.


I did do the u/s plus blood work with my second and it was fine.


I will likely have the anatomy scan at 20 weeks as well. I had a partial placental abruption with my first pregnancy (she turned out just fine, but it was scary) and apparently my risk never returns to "normal" even though my second pregnancy was event free.



post #3 of 21

i had a dating u/s and whtever routine "intake" bloodwork my OB practice requires, which i think just tests my iron and hormones. also had the HIV test just so that they won't automatically order one for the baby when it is born (was told most hospitals now will test the baby if the mom hasn't been tested) and will have an anatomy scan at 20 weeks because hubby really wants to know the sex. other than that, i'm having as little testing as possible. i am only 25 and have no family history, so really no reason for the testing....and i think even if something is "wrong" with the baby, i'd rather not spend months of pregnancy worrying about it when there is nothing to be done till birth. i'm going to try to get out of the glucose challenge....routine for my doctor (hubby is in the military and i don't have a lot of options with who i see, otherwise i'd be with a midwife) but it is notoriously inacurate. when i had it done with my first pregnancy, i ate oreos and gatorade on the way to the test (supposed to fast for 6 hours ahead but forgot) and results were still normal. so i know it is not an accurate test for my body/metabolism. so many of the tests give a probability at best, and some are known for false positives like the quad and the glucose challenge.

post #4 of 21

Other than an initial blood draw, I probably won't be having any tests done at all. My MW is totally fine with whatever choices I make, I can do whatever tests I feel I want/need but other than the blood draw she requires nothing. I will probably have my iron levels checked a few weeks before due date, as they tend to be super low anyway, and don't want to risk hemmorage.

post #5 of 21

So far I've opted to do the intake blood and urine testing, and opted not to do any of the 1st trmester testing. Our reasoning was 1) a screening test is not the same as a diagnostic test so "+" results don't always mean the condition is actually present, 2) no matter we would continue the pregnancy, 3) an unexpected result would be a shock now or later so we'd rather just find out later.


We'll do a 20w anatomy scan and a glucose test later on. Last time I did the GBS test and it came back positive. That was a real bummer during labor. I'm going to talk with my new midwife once I can get in with her to see what our options are on that one. GBS is transient so it's possible I'll test negative this time. I really, really want to be negative this time.


Best of luck with whatever you decide. There's no right or wrong on this stuff. It's so individual.

post #6 of 21

I am doing the integrated prenatal screening (got the first trimester part results back yesterday, actually). I decided to do it because of my age (37) and as a means to help determine whether or not I would be having an amnio. Other than that we will have the anatomy ultrasound scan at 20 weeks, but not much else unless there is reason to that comes up.

post #7 of 21

I'm doing the Verifi blood test, and 1st trimester screen including nuchal trans ultrasound at 12 weeks, then I won't see my doctor again until 17 weeks. I'll probably end up with numerous ultrasounds after 20 weeks or so, checking for shortening or funneling of the cervix (I have a bicornuate uterus, and have had two preterm births). I'm really trying to limit the appointments this time, it feels like all the monitoring I had during the last two pregnancies really didn't 'prevent' any preterm births, so I'm going with my gut this time and scheduling fewer appointments, although certainly more than most mamas will have :)

post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 

Thanks, everyone!  I agree, this is so individual.  This is my third pregnancy, but I am finding the decision much more difficult this time.  I've had some bad experiences in the past, so that certainly plays a part.


Sunseeker, what made you decide to go with the Verifi test?  I am thinking of doing the MaterniT21, but I am not sure.  I thought about doing it instead of the first trimester screen, but I'm concerned that it is so new.  My doctor hasn't used the test before and isn't sure of its reliability.

post #9 of 21

None here...

post #10 of 21

I would like to get my iron checked (to see if it is why I am so darned tired) and I will be getting the 20 week u/s. I will feel better having a home birth with at least having seen LO, the cord, the placenta location etc. I don't know, somehow it just makes me feel more comfortable.


I will be skipping the rest.

post #11 of 21

I may go with the materniT test here....I know I mentioned it previously on another thread, but I've done some research on it.  I'm actually more keen on this than an early ultrasound w/nuchal screen.  I would rather stick to non-invasive stuff.

post #12 of 21

I got the basic bloodwork at the beginning and will do a pap - I'm happy for them to test me for hiv, rather than the baby - anything like that.  We did a dating ultrasound at 9 weeks because the midwife recommended it since I always go overdue by 2 wks.  I'm 39 - but I still don't see the point in any of the screening tests, since they aren't an acutal diagnosis and I have no interest in following up with an amnio, regardless.  I've read that with false positives on the screening tests - even when followed up by negatives (as usually happens) or even followed up by negatives in an amnio - that this whole track can lead to a higher liklihood of a cesarean birth.  I don't know if that's just because they're watching you more carefully or what.  I am open to ultrasounds when recommended by my midwife.


It's like immunizations - a tough decision. 

post #13 of 21

Gosh, so much to decide on!


I will have my iron levels checked occasionally and closer to the end, just to make sure thats all good.

No more ultrasounds.. 

We aren't getting any of the screening tests done. No Downs or anything like that.


Yeah, so basically just checking on my bloods every 6/8 weeks or so! :)

post #14 of 21

Sunseeker, where can you get the Verifi test done?  I didn't know this blood test was already out there.

post #15 of 21


Edited by nhklh - 11/16/13 at 1:09am
post #16 of 21

I went from doing nothing in my last pregnancy to doing a lot this time:) For me, it ended up causing a lot of anxiety at the end of my pregnancy and I want to avoid that:) I am doing the first trimester testing...in fact on Friday along with a nuchual count. Then we'll do the quad in my second trimester along with the ultrasound. And yes I would keep the baby unless the problem was severe life could not be maintained. And it's also a way for me to decide amino or not. 

post #17 of 21

I will one u/s about 22-24 weeks and that will really be it really. I might need an iron test and I will do GD testing.

I do better with less testing, I have issues with my iron so testing before taking pills. 

post #18 of 21

I've had 5 ultrasounds so far and I'm 13 weeks right now.  I had two miscarriages last year and when I start spotting and bleeding this pregnancy I needed to see my baby.  I've always associated pregnancy and bleeding with death so it was really nice to see a healthy baby via ultrasound for once.  I just did the first trimester screening which my perinatologist recommended.  I have MTHFR and he said that if I have good results with the first trimester screening and the anatomy scan I will be considered even more risk and will require less monitoring in my third trimester.  I really like the guy as he cleared me for a home birth. :)

post #19 of 21

Well, I'm now up to three specialists. My OB, a perinatologist, and an endocrinologist. I've had three ultrasounds so far. 6 and 8 week to check viability at the RE, then the NTS at 13 weeks along with the first trimester screen.


I'm having my cervix checked in a few weeks to make sure it isn't shortening, then the anatomy scan at 20, and a fetal echocardiogram at 22. After that I should be good to go.


I am doing the screening for sickle cell and cystic fibrosis. With my diverse family history, I just want to know if I carry the trait for either--my mom carries the trait for sickle cell, but no one in my family is living with the disease. I'll have my iron checked since it can get low sometimes.


I do not plan to do an amnio since the risk of miscarriage in my case far exceeds the risk of any chromosomal issues.


I'm now seeing an endocrinologist as well because my TSH levels came back really low. She said it was likely just pregnancy related, especially with having twins, since other than some rapid heartbeats (could also be due to anxiety), I had no other symptoms. They'll just do a blood test periodically to make sure it isn't getting worse.

post #20 of 21

I did the initial blood tests (including HIV/STIs so that is all documented). I have low thyroid (and take thyroid) so I've been doing thryoid levels monthly. But levels have been good, so my primary care doc a naturopath is ok with skipping a few months and just testing 3rd trimester now.


I'm 41, but decided to skip all the genetic screening tests. Even the MaterniT21 and similar tests. What I found in my research is that the MaterniT21 and similar are much much more accurate than the other screening tests. Way less false positives (like less than 1%). But it is still not considered diagnostic. If you get a positive, they recommend amnio. I almost went this route and then decided against it. I decided that for me, what was most important was not feeling stressed about the baby and pregnancy and not testing would help me feel less stress. I really don't want an amnio or CVS so it seems pointless to do the screening tests since they would likey come back positive due to my age. I seriously considered the MaterniT21 since it has such a low false positive rate, but in the end decided not to.


I did a 8 week ultrasound just to see if the baby was still alive. I had a miscarriage last fall where the baby died at 7 1/2 weeks and I was super anxious in those early days and an ultrasouns helped alleviate that. I did decide to do the 20 week ultrasound because what is most important to me is to find out if there is anything we need to prepare for after the birth. And since we are having a homebirth, if there is any reason not to have a homebirth (this is really rare). Also, I think having this ultrasound will help with my stress level.


No more ultrasounds unless there is a specific reason for them. In fact, as soon as this babe is big enough, I plan to have my midwife use the fetoscope instead of the doppler, until labor.


Type II Diabetes runs in the family, so I will test for Gestiationa Diabetes, but I will not do the glucose test. I probably will do an alternate test, like a fasting glucose or something.


Then, that is about it. I'll skip GBS. Check hemoglobin/hematocrit/iron at 28 and 36 wks.

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