FIRST TRIMESTER SCREENING (FTS)
FTS is an optional test combining results from a blood test and ultrasound to provide information on the risk of your baby having Down Syndrome (or some other chromosomal abnormalities). This test has the ability to detect 85-90% of Down Syndrome pregnancies.
We recommend women have the blood test (for hormones called PAPP-A and BhCG) at around 10 weeks' gestation; however it can be done up until 14 weeks. An ultrasound (checking the thickness of the babies neck - or nuchal translucency) is performed between 11 and 14 weeks' gestation. These results are all combined along with age and other factors within a complex computer program to come up with a risk score for Down Syndrome. We would recommend these Ultrasound services.
One in 300 is the dividing line between high and low risk. Low risk means a chance of less than 1 in 300 that the baby has Down Syndrome. This does not rule out the possibility to Down's, but the risk is small. Only one woman in over 3000 screened as low risk will have a baby with Down Syndrome.
A high risk result means that the chance of the baby having Down Syndrome is more than 1 in 300. It does NOT mean that the baby is definitely affected, however further testing is recommended. There are various options available including Amniocentesis, CVS or one of the new non-invasive blood tests such as iGeneScreen. It is important that you see your Obstetrician to discuss all of these options in detail.