Riverwalk OBGYN

Screening For Down Syndrome

05.07.24 in Obstetrics

Screening For Down Syndrome

Screening For Down Syndrome | Riverwalk OB-GYN

Some of the most exciting times in a women’s life is pregnancy and childbirth. But they can also be very stressful, as most parents have questions about their newborn baby’s health.

Is Screening for Down Syndrome Necessary?

Prenatal genetic screening through Riverwalk OB/GYN obstetrics program can identify potential genetic risks and birth defects before delivery. A screening test for Down Syndrome is available, which is noninvasive as well as more accurate the tests that were used in the past.

Down syndrome, also known as trisomy 21, occurs when there is an extra chromosome 21 present in cells of the fetus. Children with this extra chromosome have physical characteristics of Down syndrome. Unfortunately, about 40% will have serious heart problems.

As early as 10 weeks gestation, screening tests used during pregnancy today can determine the risk of having a child with a genetic disorder.

What Screening Tests Indicates

Screening tests don’t diagnose the condition, but rather the likelihood of having a child with a specific genetic disorder. Screening for Down syndrome can be performed as early as 11 to 14 weeks of pregnancy with a blood test and first trimester ultrasound.

Using the multiple marker serum screening test, screening can also be performed between 15 and 20 weeks. However, some women elect to use a combination of first and second trimester screening tests, known as the sequential screen.

Each of these tests uses ultrasound measurements of the fetus, a mother’s age and results of the blood test to provide her with an adjusted risk for having a child with Down syndrome. Even though these tests are good, they cannot detect every case of Down syndrome. However, they do offer detection rates from 80 to 90 percent.

Who Should Get a Screening Test?

Down syndrome screening tests are offered to every woman during pregnancy. And the decision to have such a test is a personal one. With this in mind, the following women are at a higher risk for having a child with chromosomal disorder.

  • Women with a family history or parent with a chromosomal abnormality.
  • 35 or older when they deliver.
  • Fetal anomalies detected on ultrasound.
  • Have previous child or fetus with Down syndrome or a chromosome abnormality.

Request an Appointment at Riverwalk OBGYN in San Antonio

Book online or call (210) 402-6022 to schedule a genetics disorder screening test.

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