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Old 02-03-2009, 02:31 PM   #21
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Re: Anyone do a triple screen?

I did this once and it caused me tons of undue stress in a major way! I was young and uninformed at the time. The AFP test came back positive for Down's. We had genetic counseling, and an amnio later showed that our baby was fine~no Down's. I can't tell you how much agony I was in...I never would have terminated, but trying to decide whether or not to have the amnio so I could be prepared to mother a Down's was nerve wracking.

After that I did a college term paper on the AFP test and discovered that happens a lot (false positives). So with my subsequent 4 pg's I refused the test. That was many years ago, and now I just get a specialized u/s since I'm "advanced maternal age".


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Old 02-03-2009, 02:37 PM   #22
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Re: Anyone do a triple screen?

even if i wenre into testing, with you i wouldnt because you have 4 babes in there. its going to have elevated hcg to begin with (duh) and then the others it could be anything, and being that there are 4, it would worry me extra trying to figure out which/how many had whatever issue, and drive myself totally nuts, kwim?
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Old 02-03-2009, 02:54 PM   #23
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Re: Anyone do a triple screen?

I didn't have the AFP with either one of my kiddos, and if we decide to have another baby, I won't have it with that one either.

My biggest problem with the AFP, is it doesn't tell you anything. It doesn't tell you if your child does or does not have x, or y. It tells you calculated risk based on test that isn't known for its accuracy. So that calculated risk has a good chance of not actually being the risk it says, ykwim?

My biggest issue is if something does come back, then its an another ultrasound and an amnio. You don't have to have those things, but if you do the AFP and it doesn't come back how they want it to come back, they will pressure you for these things. Amnio's are not without risk. This is important to understand.

Likely, they'll be sending you for a level two level ultrasound anyway because of multiple babies hanging out in your womb and if there are markers that concern them, they will talk to you about them.
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Old 02-03-2009, 03:49 PM   #24
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Re: Anyone do a triple screen?

I really hate to hear it called a "false positive" since it's only a statistical assessment and not a diagnostic - therefore does not have a positive or a negative result. Even though mine came back less than 1:10,000, I know there's still a chance (albeit a 0.0001% chance) of the baby having one of the disorders that are screened for. Knowing your exact conception date does greatly improve the accuracy of the test, since one of the biggest reasons it is often inaccurate is being off on dates.

Anyway, the rate of having higher-than-average odds without having a problem is fairly high. IIRC, any kind of medical test must have a less than 1% chance of a false negative (having a problem even though a test says you won't) in order to be approved. I think that goes for the triple/quad screen as well, though I'm not entirely sure. But that partially accounts for higher false positive rates in medical tests than false negative tests - better to require further screening for a condition than to totally miss a condition altogether.

The NT screening has a much higher success rate - something like 85% at detecting genetic abnormalities with the u/s alone, and 92% when the bloodwork is included. The thickness of the fluid on the back of the neck is a strong marker for a few conditions.

I am wondering how accurate it is for multiple pregnancies. I thought that it was highly inaccurate even during twin pregnancies?
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Old 02-03-2009, 04:28 PM   #25
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Re: Anyone do a triple screen?

I had all the testing done when I was pg with ds, I refused with dd. I had a false positive for Downs with ds (I was only 22 at the time) I refused the amino and decided to wait til he was born, but I did have a 4d sono and he showed no charataristics of Downs. When he was born he had to have blood work to comfirm that he did not have downs. It was way to stressful and I would never do it again. At the time my dr told me that she doesn't like that test because of the 50% chance of a false positive. That was almost 6yrs ago.
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Old 02-03-2009, 05:14 PM   #26
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Re: Anyone do a triple screen?

I had the test with all my pregnancies, with my last pregnancy we came back + for being a risk for down's(1:99). I had my level 2 ultrasound almost a week ago, and it did show some genetic markers for Down's so we went ahead with the Amnio(waiting results now). I do not reget our decision for the testing at all. We love this baby regardless and there are no plans to abort period, however, we want to be prepared for whatever we might be up againest along with adnormalities that go along with Down's so the baby has the best possible chance.

IMO-since you are carrying more than one baby, you will get several ultrasounds along the way which will/may show character for some of the disorders that are assoicated with the triple screen. Remember though that even with the u/s you may not see any charcters for the disorders and the baby actually might have them as well. However, if you do see something that might be wrong your time period for testing and amnio are limited which I assume is why your OB is pushing the testing. I have been told and the research I did said that with more than one baby the odds the test will come out more + are more higher so I would take that into consideration.

The best of luck in whatever you choose, remember it's your choice regardless of what anyone says.

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Old 02-03-2009, 06:15 PM   #27
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Re: Anyone do a triple screen?

I just refused it for the 6th time. I don't feel the need to cause any undue stress, and I have seen many cases of a mom worried freaking out over test results. I believe stress is terribly hard on the unborn child's developing systems. There is not much that you couldn't deal with at birth and from what I've seen it is easier for a parent to think of their child as wonderfully perfect even if they have a defect if they have the chance to hold them in their arms as they learn the news.

And with 4 babies an amnio if something does come back as needing more testing may be super risky, I would think.
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Old 02-03-2009, 06:54 PM   #28
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Re: Anyone do a triple screen?

One of the things that can cause false positives is carrying more than one baby. I would think that it would be a useless test for you with all those sweet little babies growing in there. The test is going to come back off.
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Old 02-03-2009, 07:24 PM   #29
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Re: Anyone do a triple screen?

Originally Posted by SubliminalDarkness View Post
Nope. I waived it, along with other prenatal testing, during my pregnancy with DS2. We would not have aborted under any circumstance, so for us, the test was pointless.
This is exactly my thinking. There was nothing that would have been done. Kristin, note their reasoning. Do you fall into their categories for those who should get tested? If so, would you reduce if there was something wrong?

DH and I just decided that unless it was something that would affect DELIVERY itself of our baby, it wasn't necessary. Anything else we could deal with when the baby was born.

Good luck!
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Old 02-03-2009, 07:33 PM   #30
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Re: Anyone do a triple screen?

We were told that with multiples the false positive goes up even more so we declined it with my daughter (twin, w/ loss at 10 weeks) and with my son, I had missed the window already.
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