Is 14 weeks too late for initial tests?

(10 Posts)
Mandalory Wed 10-Jun-20 20:54:43

Apologies for a long post... I’m new to this, haven’t got a clue and a bit overwhelmed, as well as feeling quite lost and lonely so any advice will mean a lot 🙂

I’m 36, first pregnancy. Going on NHS dates I’m 7+3, I had an early private scan which puts me at 7+6. My booking appt was over the phone - I won’t get bloods etc done until 12 week scan. All good so far, not ideal but it’s ok. Was given a load of NHS links to read which I’ve done religiously 😂

Today I got my letter for my NHS scan, and it’ll be when I’m 14 weeks (based on early scan). Everything NHS I’ve read says that testing for Downs etc is more accurate before 14 weeks, and can’t be done from a scan after that time. I know the blood test is more reliable but at least the scan can give you some indication on the day rather than waiting. I’m very aware of my age putting me at higher risk, and the late scan date doesn’t feel quite right.

I’ve started feeling very anxious - I’ve suffered with anxiety previously and worked hard to manage it (no longer on medication). I don’t know whether I’m worrying needlessly, whether the midwife would think I’m crazy if I called and asked if the date is ok or whether I just need to manage an extra few weeks before knowing. 6 weeks feels an awful lot to manage from here tho 😔

Does anyone have any reassurance or advice? Anyone been in a similar situation, especially with being a little older? Also anyone with previous anxiety who has tips for managing it through pregnancy - I’m so determined to keep it at bay and enjoy the pregnancy I’ve wanted so much for so long.

Thank you xx

OP’s posts: |
Ajahd Wed 10-Jun-20 21:09:34

My baby was in an awkward position at my 12 week scan so I had to go back at 16 weeks for my dating scan. They mentioned that it could lower the chance of being able to accurately test for downs, but when I spoke with my consultant about it he said it barely lowered chances, it was such a small margin. Scan can definately be done though, as I had mine at 16 weeks and that was 9 weeks ago, so I doubt things have changed much since!

If it's causing you anxiety though, there is no harm in asking for a scan a bit sooner? It's likely that will be the earliest one they have, but no harm in checking.

Hope it all goes well for you smile

bananamonkey Wed 10-Jun-20 21:12:28

Congratulations. I had this, I called them to double check the dates and they moved it earlier with no issue.

Mandalory Wed 10-Jun-20 21:38:27

@Ajahd and @bananamonkey thank you so much for your replies 🙂 just having other ladies to share it with has made me feel better.

@Ajahd were they still able to take NT measurements from your scan at 16 weeks or just blood test? How long did you have to wait for results?

@bananamonkey did you call the midwife or scan people to ask? I’m worried about being a nuisance to them and realise it’s probably the earliest appointment, although thinking about my little bean is giving me more purpose to stick up for myself 😬

Congratulations to you both too, hope you’re having healthy and happy pregnancies 😊 xx

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bananamonkey Wed 10-Jun-20 22:37:05

I called the scan department since they issue the appointments. Don’t worry about being a nuisance, mine was just an admin error and they fixed it with no fuss, if I hadn’t have noticed it wouldn’t have been picked up. Having a child definitely makes you better at advocating for yourself (and them) I found, it’s ok to be a little pushy with these things. I’ve had my babies now but I had a lot of anxiety in my second pregnancy due to a previous MMC. I found setting mini milestones for myself helped and listening to relaxation tracks.

Good luck x

mjas Wed 10-Jun-20 23:06:15

Hi, congratulations on your pregnancy! There are two types of screening tests, combined and quad. Combined test is the most commonly used, it includes scan measurements and a blood test, and is more sensitive to detect possible chromosomal abnormalities. The cut off is 13 weeks and 6 days. If your scan is later, they will need to do a quad test, which is from blood, but a bit less sensitive.
In my second pregnancy the hospital gave me the appointment too late and could not move, so I chose to go for a private scan and test (it also included NIPT). But I did it partly because I had a very high risk in the first pregnancy after the combined test (1:7), and so it was more likely that I'd have high risk again, and I was also older.
It is definiltely fine to call to ask to move the appointment, but it might be they won't be able to offer anything earlier.
Good luck! 36 is a good age for the first baby, that's when I had mine smile

Mandalory Thu 11-Jun-20 07:24:30

@bananamonkey thank you again, I’ll call them today and see. I’ve been trying with mini milestones too tho I think that’s what threw me a bit, I was set for making it to 12-13 weeks but 14 feels so far away, especially when there’s a medical reason for being done before then. I’ll keep on making them tho, and get a relaxation playlist made 🙂

@mjas thank you for explaining it, I thought I’d read up on pregnancy but now I’m here it’s another world and so confusing! I had a look at private testing and I’d love to for peace of mind but it’s expensive - DP says we should do if it’ll help me relax (of course it would) but it’s a big stretch for us and obviously so many things we’re now saving for. If there were other risk factors like you had then it would be different of course. Did you feel it was worthwhile though? Did they also test for other abnormalities that wouldn’t be picked up until later?
And thanks re the age! Nice to find someone who was similar and glad you found it a good time to start ☺️

Thank you both for replying, amazing how much your words have helped 😊 xx

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Mandalory Thu 11-Jun-20 18:32:38

Update - I called the scan department today and explained, and they’ve been lovely and moved my appointment forward a week. It’s not straightforward as I’m consultant led and the earlier appointment isn’t with a consultant, but they’ve agreed to follow up that part on the phone at a later date.

Thank you all for taking the time to help 😊 just another 5 weeks to make my way through now but feeling much better that the scan will happen in time xx

OP’s posts: |
bananamonkey Thu 11-Jun-20 21:01:16

Glad it worked out, hope those weeks pass quickly x

mjas Fri 12-Jun-20 14:54:15

I'm glad to hear they moved the appointment. Hope all goes well. In tbe absence of extra risk factors I would not go for the extra private testing. There are serious concerns about private clinics misseling NIPT tests for what they are not, both in what negative and positive results mean.
Hope the first trimester is not too bad, and the weeks till the scan go fast!

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