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anyone had an amnio and can give advice?

(137 Posts)
wendyredhead Wed 15-Aug-07 19:38:41

I've decided, because of my age, to skip the tests and just go for an amnio and hope for the best. Just wondered about any personal experiences you might have had.

Pixiefish Wed 15-Aug-07 19:41:40

I had an amnio because the blood test came back high risk.
have the blood test first- your risk might be really low.

You need to consider what you'll do if the amnio comes back positive- that's the biggest thing. Also you need to rest up for 3 or 4 days after

escondida Wed 15-Aug-07 19:42:42

I am doing pretty much the same -- scheduled in 2 weeks time. Mothers35+ is a good website to read about amnio experiences. When would yours be?

Scotia Wed 15-Aug-07 19:45:37

I had an amnio - I was terrified beforehand, but it really wasn't that bad. It was actually quite fascinating to watch on the ultrasound screen too, and I really didn't feel pain - more a kind of pulling sensation.

Obviously, there was also the worry that there is an increased risk of miscarriage, but we had to weigh it up against having peace of mind.

I would happily do it again in another pregnancy.

lillypie Wed 15-Aug-07 19:49:09

I had an amnio because my blood test came back really high risk.It wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be and I was fine afterwards.The worst bit was waiting three weeks for the results,although I believe you can get them more quickly if you pay.

wendyredhead Wed 15-Aug-07 19:57:24

Thanks girls. Yeah, I was really against them on Monday but after speaking to m/w who said because I'm 43 my risk of D/S is 1:44 so the risk of m/c after an amnio is lower.

Then I thought, is there any point getting blood test or nuchal (I have to pay) done as it's not conclusive? Should I just go for the amnio.

I mean, can you be 43 and get a low risk back fromt he blood test?

wendyredhead Wed 15-Aug-07 19:58:22

Escondida: thanks for website, I'll check it out. I'm only 8 wks so I've a while to go. When is an amnio performed?

LilianGish Wed 15-Aug-07 19:58:59

I had an amnio for both mine - I was 35 and 37. The first time blood tests combined with my age put me at high risk and I was in terror! Had a brilliant consultation with genetisist (both children born in Paris) who explained what an amnio could determine (just about everything - not just Downs) she also pointed out that while they have to give you statistics for the risk of miscarriage after the test at that particular hospital, in the six years she had been there, they had not had one incidence. Went ahead with the test - couldn't have enjoyed the pregnancy not knowing - and was fine (another bonus for me was that you can definitely find out the sex). With my second pregnancy wanted to have the test anyway - just gives you such peace of mind. The test itself is slightly uncomfortable - what noone had prepared me for was the noise the needle makes when it goes in - a bit like a football being popped, so be warned - and you have to take it easy for 24 hours afterwards. How old are you by the way? In actual fact the calculation of risk is slightly misleading - low risk doesn't mean no risk if you see what I mean - either the baby is ok or its not and in fact the only people I know of with Downs children were not considered high risk and so did not have the test anyway. I'm sure you'll be fine - I would definitely have the test then you can enjoy the rest of your pregnancy.

wendyredhead Wed 15-Aug-07 20:00:07

Also - when you get an amnio, do they test for other disabilities besides Downs? Do the cultures take time to grow? So many Qs sorry!

wendyredhead Wed 15-Aug-07 20:01:38

liliangish: sorry our posts crossed! Great info from everybody - so grateful.
Yes, I'm with you all on the peace of mind thing.

LilianGish Wed 15-Aug-07 20:03:59

At 43 I don't think you'd get a low risk result - I was 35 and apparently that was what bumped up my risk after the blood test. You have to wait for the results as they have to grow a culture of cells and then test them which is what takes the time so even if you pay you can't speed that up.

gess Wed 15-Aug-07 20:06:02

They will spot big (in terms of chromosomes) rearrangements so things like Turner's syndrome or trisomy 13). They won't pick up on other genetic conditions unless they specifically test for them. You could ask them what they routinely test for and could enquire about tests for other conditions on top.

escondida Wed 15-Aug-07 20:09:06

The amnio is usually done 15-16 weeks along.
They test for chromosone and genetic abnormalities -- so lots and lots of things besides Downs.
I think that a good nuchal fold result could reduce your risk of Downs below 1:44... I would phone the FMC and ask what the lowest possible risk would be for your age using the tests they offer (0207-486-0476, they developed the nuchal fold test originaly, and offer that combined with a blood test).
From amnio you usually get primary results back within a week (for the most common genetic problems), and then rarer conditions can take up to 3 weeks to detect. Plus I think amnio can cause m/c until 3 weeks afterwards, too.

wendyredhead Wed 15-Aug-07 20:38:46

Escondida: that's a good idea about phoning. I'm just getting the general impression that even if the baby was OK, my blood test would come back as very high risk purely because I'm 43. It's weird. And like they say, more babies are born to younger women (suppose because more younger women get pregnant!).

Lilian: bonus - you get to know the sex - didn't realise that.

My m/w told me that my OB is really qualified and has a great track record and loads of experience with amnios so that's something to bear in mind.

I must say it would be SO nice to have total piece of mind at my age (if all went well) to enjoy the rest of my pregnancy not worrying about a thing so I think from that perspective alone the slight risk of m/c is worth it.

EColi Wed 15-Aug-07 20:42:26

Are you in the London area Wendy? There are new regulations for most of the London hospitals. If you choose to have an amnio (or cvs - they can be done earlier, more like 12 weeks) solely because of your age (ie. no nuchal scan) then in most hospitals they will only carry out a quick (2-3days) test for Downs syndrome and 2 other chromosome abnormalities (Edwards syndrome and trisomy 13).
If you have a nuchal scan and the measurement is higher than normal then they will also carry out the more detailed chromosome test (which takes a couple of weeks) as well as the quick test.
In other parts of the country you may get both tests offered, or you may only get the slow (but more comprehensive) test for free and will have to pay for the quick test if you want it.

EColi Wed 15-Aug-07 20:44:12

If you only have the quick test then you don't find out the sex either.

gess Wed 15-Aug-07 20:47:43

It won't test for everything. There are more things it won't test for than will. Sorry I know you don't want to hear that but I think it is important to understand what you can expect to find out from invasive testing. For example my son is severely disabled- wil require 24 hour care for the rest of his life will probably never speak. No antenatal test in the land could have picked up his condition (nor many of the conditons the other children in his school have).

It will pick up Down's syndrome, Edwards and Pataus, and other less severe conditions such as Turner's (or in a friend's another sex chromosome anomoly). It will be able to pick up specific genetic problems- providing they are tested for. If its important to you that they test for certain conditions you need to ask which genetic tests will be carried out. They won't pick them up unless they run the test. Clinics may differ in which tests are performed routinely.

Will you be getting any genetic counselling beforehand? If you can access it would perhaps be good so you can talk through with someone what will and won't be tested for.

gess Wed 15-Aug-07 20:52:53

oh that's interesting E. coli; I can see why they do that- extrapolating from what you said even with the 3 week test (which will involve looking visually at the chromosomes) you're still not going to pick up on most genetic problems- you'll only spot the things that can be seen visually on the chromosomes. You would need a different specific test to pick up on say cystic fibrosis (and then you only get certain types iirc).

EColi Wed 15-Aug-07 20:55:05

Just wanted to repeat - if you only have the quick test it will also NOT detect Turners (They will only 'look' for Turners if the nuchal measurement is high, which they won't know if you haven't had it measured).

gess Wed 15-Aug-07 20:56:45

Yep she's right- I was assuming in my 1st post that they always did the karyotype (the 3 week test) as well.

EColi Wed 15-Aug-07 21:01:33

It's a money-saver I think Gess...seems ok but think about the women who have the quick test on a cvs in early pregnancy - find out it isn't Downs and then the doctors find more subtle abnormalities at the anomaly scan. That mum has to have an amnio taken (putting the pregnancy at risk of miscarriage twice) in order to have the chromosome checked over to find out if there is a more subtle chromosome abnormality.

I know that you can't ever predict a 'perfect' baby, but if I was putting my unborn baby at risk by having an amnio I would want the karyotype test done - there are a heck of a lot of abnormalities that I would find harder to cope with than DS. (And I speak as a mum of 2 children with 'non-detectable before birth' special needs, although not in the same league as your ds)

EColi Wed 15-Aug-07 21:03:49

Sorry about the rant!
Just felt that it is a reason for hanging on to get more tests (well, a nuchal scan) before having an amnio.

FioFio Wed 15-Aug-07 21:06:07

Message withdrawn

wendyredhead Wed 15-Aug-07 21:28:48

EColia and Guess: Oh a lot more info here which I need to digest as I'm only just looking into this. Seems there is a reason to have a nuchal and blood tests after all so they can pinpoint specific areas to test where you might be higher risk? I just "assumed" (typical) that the most common disabilities were tested for but I guess that's not the case.

wendyredhead Wed 15-Aug-07 21:29:28

Sorry EColi!

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