The Problem with some Prenatal Testing

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-01-2007
The Problem with some Prenatal Testing
22
Mon, 12-10-2007 - 9:30pm
When I was pregnant with my first child, I opted not to do certain prenatal tests - the ones that were optional. I did not do the amnio, nor the other test that can possibly determine down syndrome and/or cystic fibrosis. I did not do these tests because I would not have aborted my baby, regardless of the results. There are some people I know, who did the testing and received negative results. They were so worried about it, but when the babies were born, they were "normal". The problem with all this testing is that some women are opting for abortions out of fear, when their baby could be actually not have those diseases. Those tests are not 100% accurate.

Blythe

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-10-2003
Tue, 12-11-2007 - 8:08am

Both Amniocentesis and CVS (chorionic villi sampling) have a greater than 99% accuracy rate with regard to results ( http://genetics.kaiser.org/home/prenataldiagnosis.htm )

Woith regard to th Triple Marker or AFP test, your results are given as odds- they are screening tests whose posaitive results should lead to further and more accurate testing if those positive results might alter the course of your pregnancy or need for pre-planning for the possibility of a child born with chromosomal defects.

See:
"Tests Results: Remember, this test is not a diagnosis, but a screening, this means that the results that are produced indicate only the risk that the mother has of carrying a genetically disordered foetus.
The results are compared to age and ethnicity, for example, the result may say that a white North European couple where the woman is under 25 years old and has these levels of the three hormones at 16 weeks (14 from conception) has a chance of 1 in 10,000 of having a Trisomy 21 child. Alternatively it may say that the chances are 1 in 200. In either case, it is just a chance and not an absolute.
Abnormal test results do not automatically indicate an abnormal foetus. In fact most women that have an abnormal/positive first test find that the test is proved false.
Often, the normal course of action for obstetricians on seeing a positive test result with the Triple Test is to recommend further testing with Amniocentesis or CVS. However in many places in the world a more cautious approach is adopted by ordering a second triple test. If a second positive is found then a high definition ultrasound is performed to check on gestational age or multiple pregnancy and only if this shows that accurate information has been used will an invasive procedure be recommended.
The options for invasive testing should be discussed in detail with both your medical practitioner or counselor and between each other due to the higher risks of damage to the foetus involved in these procedures."
http://www.paternityangel.com/Preg_info_zone/GenTests/GenTest2.htm


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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-09-2005
Tue, 12-11-2007 - 2:02pm

"The problem with all this testing is that some women are opting for abortions out of fear, when their baby could be actually not have those diseases."


I'm assuming that you are referring to the screening tests (AFP, Triple Screen, Quad Screen, NT, etc.) moreso than the diagnostic tests (CVS and amnio).

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-20-2007
Wed, 12-12-2007 - 5:57pm
I don't think there is any medical test that is 100% accurate. I've also read recently about women having miscarriages after having a routine pap smear. Which doctors protest is "100% safe".
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-20-2007
Wed, 12-12-2007 - 5:58pm
I do plan on having pre-natal screening, but won't discuss it with anyone IRL. I don't think its right for people I know to be asking me if I'm having those tests done. Its rather personal.
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-03-2007
Wed, 12-12-2007 - 6:56pm

When we follow women who are deliberately trying to conceive, the number of pregnancies that just miscarry on their own is very very much higher than many people realize. 10-40% depending on your source, and the figure quoted in my classes is 25%. Many are in the first 6-8 weeks, before many women realize it, which is why these figures must be taken from prospective studies. Women who are hurting after a loss desperately want to find a reason, but when we get ahold of some tissue to analyze there's generally big mistakes in development, aneuploidy, lack of a fetus entirely (just an empty sac), that kind of thing. When a doc tells a woman that the pap smear "won't cause a miscarriage" what she means is that if you take 100,000 pregnant women and pap smear half of 'em, the same percentage of each group will miscarry. So it's hard to believe that they are miscarrying because of the smear. On the other hand, if a woman really wants to decline certain aspects of medical care she certainly has the right, and I'd support that.

Back on topic - personally I've chosen to not have any prenatal testing for this pregnancy. That's my own personal decision, and like previous posters I don't think it needs to be anyone's else's business, and I do my best to be completely supportive of women in the clinic who are choosing to test or not to test. The doc I shadow the most in these past few weeks is also supportive of women who decline screens.

I can easily imagine that were I to choose to carry another pregnancy much later in my life, say at the age of 38, perhaps I would choose to have more prenatal screening. At that point, the positive predictive value of the screen would be much greater and therefore more valuable to me. But this is a choice that every woman should make on her own, and I feel as though we do a good job of explaining it in the clinic that I'm learning in. Probably 1 in 10 or 15 women decline the screen.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-17-2007
Wed, 12-12-2007 - 8:00pm
I decided to do the AFP because I wanted to be able to prepare if there was something wrong and it was a non-invasive test covered by my insurance. I took the test on Nov. 26, and they said they'd have the results in 9-10 business days. I could call them for results, or wait for them to be mailed to me about a week later. That was a couple of days ago, and I haven't bothered to call them. It's not that big of a deal to me.




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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-06-2004
Wed, 12-12-2007 - 8:31pm
If you knew you weren't going to abort, why opt to not have the tests? I would think you'd want to, to get as early a jumpstart as possible on any issues your baby might have.
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-03-2005
Wed, 12-12-2007 - 9:33pm

I agree.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-18-2004
Thu, 12-13-2007 - 6:38am

>>I've also read recently about women having miscarriages after having a routine pap smear. Which doctors protest is "100% safe".<<

Taking out teh garbage is also considered 100% safe but a lot of women miscarry after doing it. Heck a lot of women just plain miscarry. correlation does not equal causation.







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iVillage Member
Registered: 02-28-2007
Thu, 12-13-2007 - 10:46am

I did not do any of those tests either.

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