Positive Second Trimester Screen

Updated on May 19, 2014
J.R. asks from Lancaster, PA
12 answers

Hi! I am currentlt 30 and pregnant with my third child. I opted to have the first trimester screen done which included the blood work and ultrasound. During the ultrasound the baby didn't cooperate all the way and would not let us see his face. So they counted it as no nasal bone present (but she made sure to tell me it wasn't because she looked and there was none but it was because the baby just was not showing his face). Even with that I was told those results came back in the normal range for my age. I also then opted to do the second trimester screening to check for neural tube defects. Well I haven't heard from my doctor yet but was able to look at my results. To my surprise it was abnormal for my risk of Downs Syndrome. It said 1/70 and the cutoff for normal was 1/165. I'm so worried. So I was looking at my test and saw that they put the wrong due date down. My due date is 10/21/14 and at the time I had the blood test done I was 16 weeks 1 day pregnant. The dates they had down my due date was 10/14/14 and I was 17 weeks 1 day. So my question is beings it was a week off would that make a difference? Why would my first trimester screen be normal and this one abnormal? My head is spinning and my world has just come to a stop. This was not what I was expecting. My OB has not called me yet and my next appointment is only in a week and a half and my anatomy ultrasound is like 2 1/2 weeks away. Please is anybody has any experience in this help!

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answers from New York on

My friend's blood work showed that she had a 95% chance of Down Syndrome. She had an amnio and all was fine. He is quite healthy.

My daughter had Chroid Plexux Cysts as well. In most cases, this clears up at 24 weeks. They forget to tell moms who experience this that children whose brains have this tend to have a higher IQ!

Hang in there. Take a deep breath and carry on.

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answers from San Diego on

2 out of my 3 children came back with a higher chance of downs from that AFP blood test. Not a single one of my 3 children have downs or any other problems.
I was 33 with my second pregnancy and 38 with my third. Age, right from the start is set against you. They are looking at averages. They are not looking at just you.
After we got the results we were sent to a genetic counselor that asked a very long list of questions. Using those answers the math was run again using their averages. My chances of either of them having downs got less and less likely, my odds went up in my favor of nothing being wrong. By doing nothing more than answering a bunch of questions. Yes, the due date can seriously throw off your numbers when they run the math. Even a week off can be the difference between a high or a low number.
With my second there were some things found on a couple ultrasounds so we did do an amnio because one thing it could have been is fatal. The amnio started contractions and I was on bed rest all weekend, hoping I wasn't going to loose him. Amnio came back 100% clear and the issue found on the ultrasound 100% resolved itself and he was born full term with no complications, completely healthy. My third we did the list of questions to improve our numbers. Absolutely nothing was found on the ultrasound so we chose not to do the amnio and she too was born 100% healthy, full term without any complications.
That test is notorious for worrying parents for no real reason. There is still a higher chance that there is absolutely nothing wrong. They didn't find anything wrong in the ultrasound you already had. That is a good sign, even if your little one didn't let them see absolutely everything. There are more than 1 marker that they look for, the fact that they didn't find anything and were only unable to rule out a single marker is a good indication that things are going well. The fact that your OB hasn't contacted you is also a good sign. They go off a whole package, not just one wildly inaccurate blood test results.
I know it's hard but breathe.

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answers from New York on

My DIL had a 1/10 chance. They were given this info the day they were leaving on vacation! They were devastated. She then made another appointment for US upon returning from vacation. Now normal ultrasound.
We were blessed with a healthy and happy little girl.

I am beginning to think that these are all normal occurrences, we just never knew because there was no testing. Sometimes I think they should cut back,on testing. So many false positives.

There is the Materni21 blood test. It's new and will,one day replace amniocentesis. Very expensive but insurance should pay because there was a question.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

I had a positive birth defects test with my first child. They repeated the test after double checking my due date and found that my test were off because I did them too early. My ob told me they had to be done is a specific amount of time. If that makes you feel any better. Good luck!



answers from Chicago on

I honesty wish doctors would stop doing that blood test. There is a new test out there that is diagnostic! You can do it at 11 weeks, and it's 99% accurate. My insurance didn't cover it,,but the company only charged me $250.

I'm so sorry. If you can, try to remember that you have a great chance that nothing is wrong. Those tests are wrong all the time, as they aren't diagnostic.



answers from Philadelphia on

Chances are still in your favor that everything will be fine. With a 1 in 70 chance of having a DS baby, that means that you have a 69 out of 70 chance that your baby will NOT have DS.

Also, your test results show an increased risk for DS. It was not "positive" for DS.

Honestly, having all normal ultrasounds is not a guarantee that your baby will not have DS anyway. If you need to know for sure have an amnio.

For what it is worth, my doctor thought my 3rd had DS due to the ultrasound results. Long story short, she is perfectly healthy.

Best of luck!



answers from Rochester on

Breathe. The incorrect date could have thrown it off. I had a 1/65 chance. Our genetics counselor put it this way. If I had 65 babies, 1 of them MIGHT have Down Syndrome. Our daughter was not born with Down Syndrome. My blood test was done at the close if the testing window. I think that led to a false positive. Our ultrasounds never showed any risks. With our next baby I skipped the test. It wasn't worth the stress. Try not to worry. No matter what, it will be OK.



answers from Las Vegas on

Your head is just spinning...that's all. You have no evidence of DS at this point. You read the results and the doctor hasn't made an emergency call to you.

My pregnancy at 38 YO came back in a high risk range and they called me ASAP to ask if I would like to go to the next level of testing and had to do so right away so I would have the chance to opt out.

We refused the test and delivered a normal baby.




answers from Abilene on


I haven't had experience with this personally but I was 36 and 40 with my 2. I had very high risk pregnancies with both (after 5 miscarriages). I didn't allow any testing because I knew it wouldn't be a deciding factor for me to keep my baby. I was already on bed rest and taking heparin shots twice a day as well as a host of other things. My babies were born healthy and my son has extra fingers and one extra toe.

Please try to think about something else. Your test might be wrong especially considering the results of the first test. Also your interpretation of the results might not be the same as your docs. I understand your worry and I'd be in the same boat. You can always call and request an appt earlier than the one you have scheduled.

My friend at church got a positive result for Downs. Her dad is a leading pediatric specialist and so they prepared themselves for their new baby girl. Every Sunday we prayed specifically for her in class. Her daughter was born and was completely normal. Her doctor was surprised and KNEW the baby would be Downs. She was not. Tests can be wrong.

Please try to relax and stay busy with other things. Know that your baby is a blessing and no matter what you will be able to love and nurture this newest member of your family just as you have your others.




answers from Washington DC on

1/70 is not bad at all. That almost seems on the early side from what I learned this semester. They can redo the algorythims with the correct date to get a more accurate number.

But 1-70 is not 100%. Breathe. No one said that your child has downs. I know people with much lower numbers who had perfectly healthy babies



answers from Dallas on

In my unprofessional opinion, I feel that one week can make a difference in determining normal vs. abnormal. And you are so young, that I would be surprised if your baby has Downs (or any other abnormality). You are 30 and on your third child. I'm sure you are fine! I would call your OB on Monday and demand (nicely, of course) answers! I would not be able to wait a week and a half until my next appoinntment! Go get your answers, and I really think your baby is fine!! FYI - I didn't even have my first baby until I was 4 weeks from being 32. I had my third baby at 36, and all three were completely healthy! :) Make sure you are taking your prenatal vitamins (which I'm sure you are), and try to eat as healthy as you can. Best wishes, and please keep us updated with a new post when you have more info!



answers from Oklahoma City on

I understand this is hard to go through but please, calm down. EVEN IF your child is born with Downs it's NOT the end of your world. Downs is the easiest disability to work with. Most have some health issues but with medications and good medical care they live a lot longer than they used to, most live to be elderly old people now.

Some marry and even have normal children, some become actors, they work full time and earn a living. They graduate high school and can even, if their functioning is high enough, can attend college.

Downs is not a horrible thing. I've known many and worked with several married couples and even 2 that had children. Their children were perfectly normal. The genetic issue did not pass on to their kids.

I think you can accept that if it did happen it's going to be fine. It's possible the test is even wrong or messed up anyway.

Just please calm down, the stress is not good for you or your baby.

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