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How to decide to have screening or not?

(20 Posts)
Difficultyear2015 Fri 04-Nov-16 09:58:10

I am split down the middle at the moment as to if to have screening or not and running out of time to decide.

How did you make your decision?

Jackiebrambles Fri 04-Nov-16 10:02:04

It wasn't even a decision for me if I'm honest. The medical profession offer screening so I took it! I wanted to know if there were problems with my baby. What screening are you referring to, the 12 week scan screening and tests?

Difficultyear2015 Fri 04-Nov-16 10:09:09

Yes, the 12 week screenings.

NameChange30 Fri 04-Nov-16 10:12:33

If your baby had a chromosomal abnormality, would you want to know in advance so that you could prepare mentally and practically? Or would you want to wait until the birth before finding out?

Personally I decided that I would want to know.

duxb Fri 04-Nov-16 10:12:47

I guess it depends on why you want to know? To my mind, it was about the ability to prepare should we score highly for downs. Edwards etc were not offered to us.

We would have continued with the pregnancy had the result for downs been high so for us it was about knowledge.

You do what's best for you but personally, they recommend the tests so id take them.

polkydot Fri 04-Nov-16 10:15:22

I chose not to have 12 week bloods etc because I would not have had invasive testing or terminated as a result of them, so a risk factor would not be helpful to me and could well cause more anxiety than not knowing at all. I have had scans, which are another form of screening but do not rely on risk calculations.

polkydot Fri 04-Nov-16 10:17:01

They offer the tests, that is different from recommending them.

Difficultyear2015 Fri 04-Nov-16 10:21:34

POlkydot - that was my thoughts.

Until I started speaking to friends and family assuming most would feel the same and they all seemed shocked I didnt want the screening.

Its still not guaranteed if you do have a high risk, and even if you come back with a low risk you could still be one of the few. So I dont see how it helps.

polkydot Fri 04-Nov-16 10:31:18

That was my feeling, both with my son who is nearly two now and my current pregnancy. I think it goes hand in hand with then being willing to have invasive testing, or knowing that you would want to terminate for an abnormality. An alternative is NIPT if you wanted to pay for that, but as with the 12 week screening it only looks for a very select, small number of issues, it cannot actually tell you that your child will be healthy or without disability.
I haven't really discussed my choice with many people.

Goingtobeawesome Fri 04-Nov-16 10:45:48

We had the usual scans at 12 and 20 weeks with all ours and with the last baby were asked quite pointedly why we hadn't wanted anything else. Turns out something appeared wrong/more serious. We were quite pressured but we refused and we weren't going to have a termination. We decided we would let nature take its course. I knew I would stress if I knew something was wrong and couldn't see a benefit.

The doctors were wrong so I could have lost a perfectly healthy baby through an amniocentesis. I'd already lost the twin but I'd have felt the same.

Goingtobeawesome Fri 04-Nov-16 10:46:00

We had the usual scans at 12 and 20 weeks with all ours and with the last baby were asked quite pointedly why we hadn't wanted anything else. Turns out something appeared wrong/more serious. We were quite pressured but we refused and we weren't going to have a termination. We decided we would let nature take its course. I knew I would stress if I knew something was wrong and couldn't see a benefit.

The doctors were wrong so I could have lost a perfectly healthy baby through an amniocentesis. I'd already lost the twin but I'd have felt the same.

iseenodust Fri 04-Nov-16 10:48:17

I knew that bottom line whatever the result I wouldn't then go for termination. I'm pro-choice & not religious so it may have been pregnancy hormones but I was certain about that. We'll cross our bridges as we come to them was our philosophy. I basically got a bollocking from my consultant who thought first pregnancy at 38 meant I should have taken all screening. It wasn't smooth sailing as I ended up having a lot of scans as there was a query after the first one but DS came out healthy in the end.

Pooky77 Fri 04-Nov-16 11:09:26

I declined the bloods and the scan as i was anxious enough about my pregnancy and i knew there was no way i would go through with the amnio and could not afford the cost of the non invasive test. At the time i was certain that i would not consider a termination either so its seemed like the right option.

Now i'm further on in my pregnancy i'm anxious that something may be wrong and i'm starting to wish i'd had the tests, if only to prepare myself ahead of delivery.

It's a tough choice and i felt rushed to make it, but all you can do is what feels right for you at the time.

Blondeshavemorefun Fri 04-Nov-16 11:31:28

I had 12w screening done as wanted to know if a chance of downs and can prepare self

Test came back low risk but even if high then wouldn't have had an abortion etc - just means you are more prepared

Friend didn't have test and was 34 and baby born with downs was a total surprise and dad struggled with it for a long time. Mum not so much but still a massive shock

If she had had the test then could have have counselling/help and extra reassurance scans

VikingLady Fri 04-Nov-16 11:40:59

I had the screening done so I could prepare myself if there was a high risk of Downs or any other issue. I wouldn't have aborted for DS (though would for anything incompatible with life) but there are a lot of health problems associated with DS and I'd want to know in advance. Particularly regarding BF - it's very hard to BF a baby with DS!

alwayshappy101 Fri 04-Nov-16 11:50:20

I didn't have the screening myself.my reasoning was that if i found out my baby was likely to have downs syndrome I wouldn't terminate the pregnancy.

The screening slightly increases your chances of miscarrage.so I thought whether my baby has downs or not,I'm not going to risk losing the baby.

NameChange30 Fri 04-Nov-16 11:53:42

The screening test is non-invasive and does not increase risk of miscarriage.

No misinformation please!

If the screening test results come back as "high risk", you are offered amniocentesis or CVS, which both have a small risk of miscarriage, but you don't have to have either.

There is also the option of paying privately for NIPT if you can afford it (and I think there are plans to make it available on the NHS as well).

Jackiebrambles Fri 04-Nov-16 11:54:07

Just a note also re the later scans, at the 20 week scan they look for abnormalities. I know a friend whose baby was found to have a serious heart defect at the 20 week scan. The heart defect was treatable, so they gave birth in a specialist hospital and the baby was taken straight away afterwards to have the op. He's now thriving!

53rdAndBird Fri 04-Nov-16 12:02:43

I didn't have it. My thinking:

- It wouldn't have given a definite answer, just a high/low risk.
- Where I live it would have only given that risk for Down's, not other chromosomal issues.

To know for sure, I'd have needed an amniocentesis if the test results came back high risk. That's an invasive procedure with a (low, but still present) risk of causing miscarriage. So, for me, I'd only have wanted to have an amnio if it was going to change my decision about proceeding with the pregnancy, not just for awareness. That might have been on the table for some chromosomal abnormalities for me, but it wouldn't have for Down's.

So, if I wasn't going to have the amnio, then having the screening and finding out the pregnancy was 'high risk' wouldn't have actually helped me with anything - and it would have caused a lot of stress without giving me something to actively prepare for. I don't deal well with uncertainty.

divadee Fri 04-Nov-16 12:56:05

It depends on what you would do if you knew there was a high risk of any issues.

Me and my partner had discussed it and we would of terminated if we were high risk and a amnio confirmed the test results. We had the harmony test and it was all ok but we needed to know the test results.

If you wouldn't terminate and nothing would change for you then you can choose not to have any testing. Some people like to be prepared so they don't find out after birth and it's all personal choice.

No one can tell you the right or wrong thing to do.

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