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Old 07-24-2006, 09:29 PM   #1
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Optional testing?

I can't for the life of me remember what the acual tests are called but they are done between 15-18 weeks gestation to test for Nueral Tube defects and Downs Syndrome. Do you opt to take or not take these tests?

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Old 07-24-2006, 09:32 PM   #2
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Re: Optional testing?

I have never had them done. The biggest thing for me was that I was repeatedly told that there is a high chance of false positives...requiring further testing. That put enough doubt in my mind about how well the tests acually work that I decided I didn't want to have them done. I didn't want to risk a false negative and additional unneeded stress to myself.

Then another reason for me was that regardless of the outcome, I wasn't going to do anything about terminating the pregnancy. So it didn't matter. I know that some chose them so they can plan ahead for the defects, but I think I would react oppositly and start the worrying when there was nothing I could do about it at the time....so it was mostly just for relief on my part.
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Old 07-24-2006, 09:32 PM   #3
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Re: Optional testing?

The test is AFP alfa fetal protien.
and yes i opt out.
This test is HIGHLY unreliable....
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Old 07-24-2006, 09:33 PM   #4
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Re: Optional testing?

Ahh reliable...that was the word I was looking for. Thanks.

Also I HATE needles...so the less times I get poked if better!
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Old 07-24-2006, 09:56 PM   #5
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Re: Optional testing?

i think it's also called the "triple screen". i declined it with dd for exactly the same reasons you did shannon. my main concern was the neural tube defects - since as my m/w explained, if they know before hand that there is one they can do some thing right after birth to mitigate some of the impacts (not necessarily fix it but at least not make it worse was what i gathered). but that should also be checked for when they do your u/s.

basically my impression of the test was that it was used to suggest further diagnostic tests (i.e., U/S or amniocentesis). i wasn't convinced by the reliability of it and knew that i would decline an amnio.
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Old 07-24-2006, 09:59 PM   #6
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Re: Optional testing?

I do not opt out of these tests. While I know that there are a lot of false positives (I have many friends who have gotten them) I like to know what I'm looking it. A positive would not effect whether or not I go on with the pregnancy... I would just worry about it the whole time if I didnt' know.
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Old 07-24-2006, 10:04 PM   #7
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Re: Optional testing?

There are a couple that they can do, but I opt to never have any tests done. DH and I had the conversation when I was pg with DS: would we do anything differently if the outcome was positive for anything? We decided we would not, so we saw no need to have them done.
For some reason my Dr.s office always seems a little confused when I say I'm opting out of all testing, so I'm guessing a lot of moms around here have them done. I don't think I've ever known anyone who HAS had them done IRL, though.
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Old 07-24-2006, 10:11 PM   #8
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Re: Optional testing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shannon
I have never had them done. The biggest thing for me was that I was repeatedly told that there is a high chance of false positives...requiring further testing. That put enough doubt in my mind about how well the tests acually work that I decided I didn't want to have them done. I didn't want to risk a false negative and additional unneeded stress to myself.

Then another reason for me was that regardless of the outcome, I wasn't going to do anything about terminating the pregnancy. So it didn't matter. I know that some chose them so they can plan ahead for the defects, but I think I would react oppositly and start the worrying when there was nothing I could do about it at the time....so it was mostly just for relief on my part.
ditto...exactly how I feel too.
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Old 07-24-2006, 10:23 PM   #9
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Re: Optional testing?

I have always opted out of that test.
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Old 07-24-2006, 11:01 PM   #10
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Re: Optional testing?

Ok, it's a HUGE pet peeve of mine when people say "false positive" with a SCREENING test! It's not a definitive test.. it's just something that signifies you need further investigation... it's not a simple "yes/no" test! 95% of people with an abnormal result don't have a problem.. Much like the one hour glucose challenge just singles out those who need a more definitive test.. I don't see nearly as many people claiming that has such a high "false positive" rate as I do with the AFP or triple/quad screens, and there are certainly a LOT of women who "fail" the one hour test, and go on to pass the 3 hour.

Anyways, I had the triple screen done with DD. It was abnormal. I had several extra level 2 ultrasounds, and all was ok. Do I think that test was "wrong". NO! It did what it was supposed to do.. I got further investigation, and thankfully I fell into that 95% where everything was ok.

I am at a MUCH higher risk for NTD's though, being diabetic, so it was something I was concerned with. Spinda bifida in particular is one of those things where babies often do better when born by C/S than vaginally (less physical trauma to the spinal defect), which is something I definately WOULD have opted for had any problems like that been spotted. So for me, it was information I was glad to have - and it was reassuring to know everything was ok.

Also, FWIW, many spinal defects CANNOT be spotted on regular ultrasound equipment.. so I wouldn't necessarily rely on a regular ultrasound to spot problems.
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