There are a few important facts about the risk of abnormalities or other adverse events during pregnancy and prenatal screening tests that we should mention. They will give you further insight into this extraordinary experience you and your family are preparing for.
RISK OF ABNORMALITIES
- Most babies are born normal.
- All women, regardless of age, have a small risk of giving birth to a baby with a physical and/or mental disability.
- In some cases, the disability is caused by a chromosomal abnormality, such as Down syndrome (trisomy 21).
- Early fetal ultrasound between the 11th and 14th week is used to assess the risk of your baby having a chromosomal abnormality, taking into your account your age. It also makes it easier to predict the due date and check for certain major physical abnormalities.
- Early fetal ultrasound cannot, however, detect all physical defects. Therefore, a more detailed ultrasound at around the 18th to 22nd week is recommended.
- Early ultrasound only estimates the risk of Down syndrome and certain other chromosomal abnormalities, such as trisomy 18 (Edwards syndrome) and trisomy 13 (Patau syndrome).
- To clearly determine whether a fetus has a chromosomal abnormality, an invasive test, such as amniocentesis, is required. This test, however, carries risks of pregnancy loss or having a miscarriage (0.5% to 1%).
- For women with an intermediate risk for Down syndrome (1:100 – 1:1000), a high quality test detecting fetal DNA circulating freely in maternal blood can be considered and is also available at FERTILYS.
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