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To scan or not to scan?

(12 Posts)
patagonia09 Fri 10-Jun-11 14:42:26

I'm 31, 6 weeks preg, no particular risk factors. Just been to the GP and she asked if I wanted to book a nuchal scan, and I'm not sure. I wanted to know how many people choose to do these scans, and how many just let fate take its course? I'd prefer never to have been given the option, frankly! Although it could put your mind at rest for the next 33 weeks, it could also cause a lot of stress and worry, maybe unnecessarily. The nuchal scan is no big deal, but if it led on to the CSV, amniocentisis, etc... it seems every decision is a tough one. What does everyone else think?

bagelmonkey Fri 10-Jun-11 15:51:26

We didn't have the scan because we knew we wouldn't be considering termination. In some ways I wished we had got it done just to give us an indication of what the odds were / what to expect eg if there was an increased risk based on nuchal thickness. Overall I think I'm glad we didn't.

bagelmonkey Fri 10-Jun-11 15:52:38

p.s. Was 32y old, heakthy

moomin156 Fri 10-Jun-11 16:01:59

i think you need to decide what you would do with the results ...if you would do nothing as you dont want to risk a csv or an amnio then decide if there is any point in having the test. Its really hard.......we had the test as i am 39 but we knew we wouldnt do anything further. We just wanted to be prepared a little and warn family and friends if it was a high risk. We came back as 1:97 and have a healthy girl even though she was premature. Also remember that a 1:5000 chance means you could still be that 1.................Good luck in your decision

blacktreaclecat Fri 10-Jun-11 17:32:18

I'm 33, my age related risk was 1 in 500 and I was that 1.
I'm glad I had the nuchal. Loosing our baby was hard enough at 13 weeks. Once I'd felt it move, had a bump, told the world it would have been so much worse. Also I was able to have surgical management, if I'd waited until I would have had a second trimester mc or stillbirth, this means you have to go through labour.

patagonia09 Fri 10-Jun-11 18:17:29

Thanks for your advice, and I'm sorry for your loss blacktreaclecat. One thing that puts me off the test is the idea that if I do the nuchal at 13 weeks (for various reasons that's the earliest I can schedule it) and had a risky result, then waited for a CSV etc, waited for the results, found out, and - in worst case - booked a termination, it would be much later than 13 weeks before the nightmare was over. How quickly did the process move for you once you'd done the nuchal?

EggletinaClock Fri 10-Jun-11 18:39:41

I was 37 and I was that 1 in 3000. My baby had major heart defects caused by Edward's Syndrome which is 'incompatible with life' and I 'chose' to terminate at 22 weeks. In my case the nuchal fold scan and corresponding blood tests had shown me to be at low risk of such chromosomal disorders. They were devastatingly wrong and the problems were only identified at my 20 week scan.

If I get pregnant again, I will be opting straight for invasive (but conclusive) testing to ensure I am not carrying another child that is likely to die before term or shortly after birth. It's also important for me to never have to go through a late termination again if at all possible. So, although it's unlikely that something like this would happen to you, it's important to remember that nuchal fold measurement is only an indicator and a large nuchal fold measurement often doesn't turn out to be associated with other problems, but, occasionally a totally normal measurement is present alongside a lethal disorder.

Most people seem to accept the scan if offered on the NHS and where it isn't offered people often choose to pay for it. When people say they wouldn't terminate regardless of the results I suspect they are often only talking about Down Syndrome which (although 90% of people with a pre natal diagnosis do terminate) allows an element of choice due to there being a good chance of survival. Edward's and Patau Syndrome are always lethal so it's then a case of terminate under your control, or let nature take it's course, which could lead to horrendous suffering for all involved.

I'm sure most people who opt not to have it have completely healthy babies but in this folder you will get biased responses as many regulars here have had very negative experiences.

I hope you reach a decision you're happy with and everything goes well for you.

Strix Fri 10-Jun-11 18:56:49

Last year I was 40/41 and pregnant with baby number 3. I went for a nuchal (I'm a I wanna know kind of girl so would always choose to have a scan). The results came back very middle of the road. The NHS said they were acceptable. But they were considerably lower than the nuchals for my other two. The nuchal fold measurement was quite high. I was a nervous wreck for a while. We chose to have a csv. It was indeed stressful. But the results came back all clear. And, that allowed me to continue the pregnancy with a great peace of mind and look forward to meeting myhealthy boy. In the end I'm glad I had the CSV. I only wish I had just gone for it without all the worrying that preceded the decision to have a csv. I wouldn't really trust the NHS on this. I would go to the Fetal Medicine Centre. Even if I wasn't in London, I would get there.

But, everyone is different. Perhaps you don't want to know. Some people don't. And that may be what is best for you.

MyangelAva Mon 13-Jun-11 17:59:17

I just wanted to echo the experiences of being that '1'. in my case I was the 1 in 189,000 which was not discovered until after a couple of anomoly scans & an amnio at 26 weeks. My nuchal fold measurement was well within the normal limits etc so it very much a suggestion and has it's limitations. Good luck with whatever you decide.

aethelfleda Tue 14-Jun-11 15:50:38

I went for it with my first two as I know it's a guideline not a guarantee. Wouldn't terminate but wanted an early warning sign if things were likely to be rough. With DD1 and DD2 the low risk reassured me. If it had been high risk I'd not choose for invasive testing myself, but everyones different. Do what feels right for you.

MyangelAva Tue 14-Jun-11 20:21:43

I just wanted to add that in my case my baby had Edwards Syndrome (T18) which is fatal. I think that NHS mainly focuses on Downs Syndrome but as such should also flag up the other main trisomies.

IssyStark Fri 05-Aug-11 22:05:20

I'd also like to add (although it is about two months two late) that the nuchal fold test is not all about Downs and I would completely trust the NHS to deal with any outcome (where do people think the consultants who staff prvate clinics spend much of their time anyway - working for the NHS). The Fetal Medicine staff at the PAH, Southampton were brilliant.

I had anencelphaly diagnosed at my 12w scan and chose to terminate as, like Edward's Syndrome and other conditions mentioned above, it is incompatible with life (basically the upper brain and skull are missing). It was a difficult but clear cut decision for us but one best made earlier rather than later, once I'd felt the baby moving.

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