How good can the odds be when you're 41?

(27 Posts)
Squidwoman Sat 23-Feb-13 19:17:36

I'm booked in for the NT scan and blood test at the FMC next week and am considering my options if the risk is high.

BUT- how low could my risk be given my age (41) even if bloods and scan were good? I know my background risk is 1 in 80.

Is it likely I'm going to have to choose between CVS (risk but quick result) and Harmony (no risk but two week wait by which time it's too late for a surgical termination)?

Any advice appreciated....

dietcokeandwine Sat 23-Feb-13 22:08:36

Hello, I was 40 when I had my NT scan and bloods done and I think my background risk was 1:85. Both scan and bloods were good though and brought my risk down to 1:980. DS3 was born 3 weeks ago and is perfect smile. So I would say by all means have a think about possible options but please don't assume you will definitely be high risk simply because of your age. Admittedly my results this time were much higher risk than in my previous two pregnancies (which were around the 1:3,000 mark if I remember correctly) but they were still in the low-risk category overall.

Good luck

changeforthebetter Sat 23-Feb-13 22:21:29

Had my second at nearly 41. She is fine - actually, she is <whispers, G&T> despite my having consumed quite a bit of wine before I realised I was pg blush FWIW I would have the no-risk tests and take it from there. I had the over-40 mother talk with the MW. A friend of a mere 31 had a DS baby (whom she adores but has struggled with)

FlamingGallah Sat 23-Feb-13 22:24:15

I was also 41 when I had my nuchal and bloods done at FMC last year.

The computer programme that they use to calculate risk is calibrated such that it will only "let" your risk improve by a certain number of multiples of your background risk. So for me it improved from 1 in 80 ish to 1 in 1200 as bloods and scan were very good- but this was the best odds the programme could give me, if you see what I mean? It would never have given me a risk of say 1:10000 at my age.

They also said that my odds would improve again to 1:2400 if the 20 week scan was normal.

The risks of CVS are usually quoted as 1:100; the Prof told us his were more like 1:500.

See what your odds are and take it from there. We were booked for a CVS, but once I got those "good as it could be" odds, we decided against. DC3 arrived a couple of weeks ago and seems fine (if nocturnal!)

They weren't doing Harmony when I was tested, but I would definitely have done it if they had.

Good luck with your scan and your decision. They will happily advise you on the day without pressure either way.

WipsGlitter Sat 23-Feb-13 22:27:48

I think the odds are a load of shite. They are a prediction,a best guess. If you don't think you can cope with a child with DS the just go straight for the CVS/amino.

MarkGruffalohohoho Sat 23-Feb-13 22:32:22

Good luck OP: no idea re odds as I chose amnio over other options (given a false positive on bloods with DC1 which really messed with my head) BUT I am 41 (42 this year) and so far, so good - no anomalies or problems except for feeling knackered...and I was worried due to not having had vitamins, folic acid etc until 8 weeks in and still bf my toddler. Touch wood, all continues to be fine and for you and yours too. xx

Squidwoman Sat 23-Feb-13 23:33:04

Thanks for all your replies- very helpful and somehow reassuring. I am starting to feel quite stressed about it. We haven't told anyone I am pregnant yet (pros and cons I think) so MN is a good outlet.

I agree CVS will provide only definitive answer but suddenly thought of big needles and miscarriage risk is scary. Maybe if worse than 1 in 100 CVS and if not Harmony.

Roll on Wednesday confused

p.s. DC4 but was much younger with the other 3 (now 13, 11 & 8). They don't know yet either. Must think I'm getting very fat!

natajacks Mon 25-Feb-13 14:13:56

Hi, Im 41 also and expecting 2nd child. Im 8 weeks and undecided about amnio, I was going to have NT scan but now after researching Im not going to as its just not reliable enough. I had it with first child but that was some years ago. I know stats for miscarriage following amnio are 1 in 100 but does anyone actually know of anyone that miscarried? Such a confusing agonising time. I hope you let everyone know what happens wednesday.

Squidwoman Mon 25-Feb-13 19:27:14

I will let you all know

Natajacks I would still have the nuchal- it is a starting point and will guide the next decision. If my risk is very high (worse than 1 in 100) I will probably have CVS, if not the no risk Harmony test.

I have read posts on MN from people who have lost healthy babies following amnios so it isn't risk free.

FMC said I could have CVS or Harmony test on same day as the scan and blood tests so I can decide once my odds have been refined from the 1 in 80 I get from being 41.

If you go to the FMC website they have a very clear tutorial on how it all works (statistics of screening tests). They don't have info on the Harmony test on their website yet (it's that new) but there are a few threads on here that are good.

tashm Mon 25-Feb-13 21:18:07

I'm 42-43 in Oct. Last week I got the results of the combined screening and my risk came out as 1 in 3100. It was done at a large hospital in Cambridge. Their miscarriage rates were given as 1 in 130 and my risk of miscarriage would be 31 times higher having a CVS compared to the risk of having a child with DS. This was according to the consultant.It's taken 2 years of heartbreak to get to this point-anencephaly,Triosomy 10 that I miscarried with plus numerous other miscarriages. We were booked in preliminary CVS before we got the results but after discussing it with him I guess logic ruled.He said I had the same risk as a 15 year old ad I would never get such good odds again. It's a tough one and I guess we won't know if we have made the right decision until the birth. My eldest is severely disabled with an undiagnosed condition and all the tests that you have in pregnancy didn't pick up anything. It's a personal decision I just know I couldn't forgive myself if I lost the baby but that's my individual decision and you need to do whats right for you

duchesse Mon 25-Feb-13 21:37:32

With every passing test your odds will change. My sister and I had babies 3 years ago when we were 41 (me) and 40 (her). My background risk was higher than hers due to greater age, but with each test it went down. I ended up with a 1:1500 chance of a problem afair, whereas she ended up going for amnio with a 1:5 chance of a problem after all the non-invasive tests (hers had a thickened nuchal fold but no other soft marker of DS).

Both babies are and were absolutely fine and healthy. And tbh even a 1:4 chance there being a problem is still a 3:4 of not.

CVS and amnio are pretty conclusive and if done in a reputable centre carry a very low rate of miscarriage.

Good luck with all your testing-may it put your mind at rest rather than worry you more.

duchesse Mon 25-Feb-13 21:41:18

Oh and Squid, I had 3 followed by a massive gap. The older ones were 16, 14 and 12 when their sister was born and it's been absolutely wonderful. There's never been a second when I hadn't thought it was a good idea to have another with a big gap okay maybe some when she won't bloody sleep and we're so old and so knackered but that's a different story.

Squidwoman Mon 25-Feb-13 22:27:34

That's good to hear duchesse. I'm counting on DP as a young first-timer for energy (he's 32) smile

FlamingGallah Thu 28-Feb-13 09:33:22

How did you get on yesterday squid? Hope things went as well as they could

Squidwoman Thu 28-Feb-13 17:50:44

Good news from my scan- the odds went from 1 in 65 to 1 in 1127 so nearly as good as they can be. We decided to have the Harmony test anyway partly because the science is amazing and will no doubt soon be routine and will replace the nuchal test, so want to support it. Will get the results in 2 weeks but have told family and boss today anyway.

Was a bit shocked to find myself a week more pregnant than I thought bringing due date back to Sept 5th. Must have ovulated one week into my cycle... hope it's born in September though!

Phineyj Thu 28-Feb-13 17:54:13

I chose not to do these tests as none of them are definitive and my DH, being knowledgeable about stats, would have worried more about a non-definitive test than no data at all.

Squidwoman Thu 28-Feb-13 19:47:24

CVS and amnio are definitive diagnostic tests and the screening tests that give you a probability certainly help inform whether you should take the risk with an invasive test. That's if you want to know for sure- either because you want to be prepared or because you might want to terminate. I think stats are helpful if used in the right way.

duchesse Thu 28-Feb-13 19:48:46

Excellent news!

Squidwoman Thu 28-Feb-13 19:50:56

Also none of us have no data at all- in the absence of testing we have our age-related risk which in my case was 1 in 65. That's higher than the risk of miscarriage from cvs or amnio and before the days of nuchal scans I would have automatically been offered cvs or amnio. Thanks to better screening tests I can much more confidently turn down those invasive tests.

Squidwoman Thu 28-Feb-13 19:51:57

Thanks duchesse!

nellyjelly Thu 28-Feb-13 19:54:02

Of course they are useful. Yes it is only a probability assessment but it helps you with choices. For me the decent nuchal results meant I didn't have invasive testing. Yes the m/c rate is also low but if you have struggled to get pregnant you may not want to risk the pregnancy.

FlamingGallah Thu 28-Feb-13 22:58:12

That's brilliant news Squid, consider it one hurdle crossed! All sounds really promising and must have been lovely to see a wriggly little baby on board.

Wishing you all the best for the Harmony test, and for a happy and healthy pregnancy

Squidwoman Fri 01-Mar-13 16:54:43

Thank you Flaminggallah. I'm now enjoying the unbelievable comfort of maternity trousers and perusing the Internet for baby gear. smile

FlamingGallah Fri 01-Mar-13 17:40:12

I love maternity trousers- I'm still wearing them nearly a month on smile

It sounds as though you're already sorted OP, great news. But like other posters here I think the age related stats are very misleading. I'm 39 and the age stat is something like 1 in 100. But my individual results based on NT, bloods and age are 1 in 6900. If I had relied on age alone in deciding on future tests I would have wasted money and a lot of worry. I think they should just forget about the age stats altogether now you can get an individual profile.

Ps maternity trousers are the bomb! I may never stop wearing them!

nellyjelly Fri 19-Apr-13 19:26:07

The stats are useful rather than being 'shite'. They can help make a decision as to whether to seek further testing or not.

Not everyone wants to risk a mc by going direct to amnio/cvs.

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