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pregnancy problems?

(7 Posts)
duckegg Fri 21-Jan-05 14:04:25

my friend is pregnant with her third baby,she's 36. She was offered tests but refused as she didn't think she would do anything if there was anything wrong. I'm surprised, didn't know you were offered tests at this age!
Now she keeps saying she has a bad feeling that something is going to be wrong. What are the chances? and is it just downs they test you for?

NotQuiteCockney Fri 21-Jan-05 14:18:42

If she'll be 36 at delivery, her risk of Down's is 1/287. Which sounds fairly high, but that means that for every Down's baby born to mums that age, 286 non-Down's babies are born.

They test for a wide range of things, including other trisomies, spina bifida and heart problems, depending on the scan/test. I think Down's is the most likely problem, but by no means the only one.

It makes sense to not bother with tests if you wouldn't do anything based on them.

mrsflowerpot Fri 21-Jan-05 14:22:54

How far along is she? Is it amniocentesis she's declined?

I've just declined amnio after getting a screening result of 1 in 250 for Downs, which is the cut off in our NHS trust for calling you back after the blood tests. At my age (34) the average risk is around 1 in 450 apparently. At 36, the average risk is around 1 in 250 anyway, so there seems little point in having the screening if she knows that she wouldn't take any action anyway.

If it's specifically Downs she's worried about, the doctor I saw said that scans won't pick it up, although there are some soft markers they might pick up on.

mrsflowerpot Fri 21-Jan-05 14:24:24

that's it NQC, you have to start looking at those figures the other way round, so that a 1 in 250 risk becomes a 99.6% chance that everything is OK (more reliable than the pill, as dh said!)

duckegg Fri 21-Jan-05 14:27:33

she will be 37 at delivery. she hasn't had the blood test i don't think and definately didn't want an amnio.

mrsflowerpot Fri 21-Jan-05 14:45:42

I think that once it gets put in your head that there might be something wrong it can eat away ate you. For us, the whole thing with the test has just reminded us that there are so many things that might be wrong, most of which we couldn't test/screen for anyway. If we'd been told at the outset that the Downs risk was 1 in 250, we'd have thought that was tiny, but to be told by the medical team that our risk was that made it feel like a problem.

It's all coming flooding back to me now from my first pregnancy, you just worry, don't you.

NotQuiteCockney Fri 21-Jan-05 19:16:45

If she'll be 37, her risk is 1 in 255. Still low, really.

A risk of 1 in 250 is lower than the risk of a problem with an amnio, from what I know. It's bizarre that they offer amnios under these sorts of circumstances. A common choice, if you get a scary scan result, is to go for a better (private) scan - I know because the clinic we used had a few women visiting for a second scan, or scan and blood test combination.

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