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Nuchal Scan - should I do it?

(16 Posts)
CloudsofBrick Thu 22-Oct-15 08:45:09

I'm 30, this is my second pregnancy and I'm considered low risk.

Spoke to midwife yesterday and she offered the NT scan and explained it. As I understand, it gives you an idea of your chances but even then it isn't set in stone, etc etc. So I declined because I thought, well if I won't find out for sure either way, is there much point?

Then went home and spoke to OH and he was very concerned and thinks it's important I have it done.

I'm all confused now! Do I need to at my age? Didn't think I was particularly high risk. Has everyone else done it anyway even though they aren't over 35?

mrsnec Thu 22-Oct-15 09:02:04


In my last pregnancy I was under the age threshold but only just. I didn't have an NT scan because I decided the results wouldn't have any impact. I did feel pressure though for sure.

This time I did have one. I'm not in the UK and here they use your age, nt measurements, hcg and papp-a levels to g you your risk assessment. Mine all went into the thousands or tens of thousands thank goodness but they still then encouraged further tests to get a definitive answer. I didn't have any. The weeks waiting for those results were agony. I don't want to go through it again. I also don't really agree with the tests anyway. I can't think of any other area of medicine where people have to make decisions based on statistics. I am over 35 now though.

My DH was happy to go along with whatever I wanted on the basis that he just didn't want to argue about it.

April2013 Thu 22-Oct-15 09:03:47

I have done it both pregnancies, currently 34 on 2nd, everyone is different but I like the idea that if it came back high risk there would probably be extra monitoring \scans and if I did have a DS baby I would rather any problems needing treatment were known or strongly suspected before birth so that they could be dealt with without delay - or perhaps there may be a need for a ecs etc.

acquiescence Thu 22-Oct-15 09:28:45

It gives you an indicator of whether you are at increased risk and then you are offered additional screens if you are higher risk.

You need to think about whether you would consider aborting a fetus with a chromosomal abnormality or not. For me it was an easy decision as we would do this.

eurochick Thu 22-Oct-15 13:17:28

The risks increase with age but can happen to anyone. It's up to you whether you want to know if you are low or high risk.

If you want something definitive you can pay for a Harmony or Nifty test privately.

AbbeyRoadCrossing Thu 22-Oct-15 13:30:52

The test is an ultrasound and a blood test,neither of which are harmful (and I assume you're having the ultrasound anyway?)
It's up to you, but as well as DS they will also look for other things such as conditions incompatible with life.
There's no right or wrong decision, I'd personally rather know what I'm dealing with rather than find out at birth but everyone is different.

princesspineapple Thu 22-Oct-15 13:45:32

It really depends on if it would make a difference to you if your baby did have a condition. If the results are high risk they'll offer you a clear yes/no test so it wouldn't just be guesswork then. I had the screening even though we wouldn't have terminated the pregnancy for anything other than a serious life-threatening condition, as we wanted to be prepared

skyofdiamonds Thu 22-Oct-15 15:42:19

Along with Trisomy 21, it screens for Trisomy 18 & 13 too, that aren't considered to be compatible with life (yes, I know there are exceptions).

Despite not wanting to take action, it could provide you a correct birthing plan allowing the best care for the baby if there were to be any associated problems of a chromosomal disorder, that would benefit from intervention at birth.

InFrance2014 Thu 22-Oct-15 15:44:44

It was too late to do it for first pregnancy, but I did it this time. I wanted to know risk, because if it came back high I would have taken definitive tests (it covers multiple conditions, not just Downs). I was frightened of the impact potentially very serious health issues in new baby would have on on current child's quality of life, i.e. if it needed very intensive care - but of course the test, if positive for Downs, won't tell you about severity of the condition. So you are still making a choice at that stage based on some uncertainty.
It's a very personal issue (and of course, very sensitive for many people), and you need to ask yourself what you will do if you got positive results.

CloudsofBrick Thu 22-Oct-15 15:55:40

Good points everyone, thank you. I think I had just not even considered that it would be an issue - it would have to be incredibly severe to make me terminate. I don't know if I could live with the guilt on a personal level. But it would probably make sense to check with it being offered.

I suppose it just makes that first scan extra stressful! Probably the worst bit about pregnancy is that constant uncertainty - you never really know what's going on in there!!

Iammad Thu 22-Oct-15 18:08:07

Mine at 33 was 1/300 so still classed a low risk, then with this baby I am over 35 and I was 1/8000 so it's not just age (but I know it can be).
It's personal choice you need to do what you feel is best.

expatinscotland Thu 22-Oct-15 18:11:06

I had one at the age of 37. I had conceived the month before I turned 37. They said if it came back within a certain range I'd be offered amnio. I knew there was no way in hell I was having either an amnio or a termination so I told her I'd just have the u/s but she said they could still do the nuchal even if I declined amnio so I had it.

As it was, DS has HF ASD, which cannot be picked up by any test, anyhow.

dizzylemon Fri 23-Oct-15 09:42:18

I opted out, purely because it's a numbers game - they can give you the odds and then do the risky test to try and give a more concrete answer. Husband and I decided we were happy enough with the odds we were given through age etc. without the fold test and, to be frank, would be ok if our baby had downs anyway.

PallasCat Fri 23-Oct-15 13:38:06

I'm below the age threshold at which probability increases (really dislike the use of the term 'risk' in this context). I opted to have the screening - scan was last Monday, though my hospital combines with blood test so don't have the results yet.

Like previous posters, for me (and DH) this was more a choice about preparedness, and knowing what we may expect. If I have a raised probability (from the NT measurement alone this is unlikely) I don't think I would then want the invasive tests, because of the associated risks.

There was a really interesting article about the ethics around screening (both probability and definitive tests) in the Guardian this weekend:

RalucaMorena Fri 23-Oct-15 19:25:17

I am 37 and 12+5 weeks pregnant. had my scan today and did the NT. It said normal and then took blood samples. they said if it is high risk i will have a phone call in 3 working days, so hopefully it will be quiet until Wed. If it is low risk i will get a letter in post.

ShowOfHands Fri 23-Oct-15 19:41:39

I wasn't offered it with my first but had it with my second (hospital simply didn't offer it in 2007 but did in 2011). It wasn't because I would have terminated but because I'm the sort of person who needs to be utterly prepared and not necessarily because of Down's Syndrome either as I'm quite familiar with it (my uncle and cousin both had DS) but because of the other things it screens for.

I was 30 when I had DS and my results came back as 1/156.

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