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Q&A: Nuchal translucency screening?

What happens during nuchal translucency screening?

Re: What happens during nuchal translucency screening?

The Bump Expert

A nuchal translucency screening is basically a (totally painless!) special ultrasound that tests primarily for Down syndrome. Your doc will lather your belly with gel and rub a transducer over it, which emits sound waves that then become electrical signals, and voilà! You’ll see baby’s picture on a nearby screen. While you're absorbed with that, your doc will examine the back of baby’s neck. If this area is thicker than normal, it can be an early warning sign of Down syndrome, trisomy 18 (another genetic disorder) and other related birth defects.

Make an appointment with your doctor sometime between 10 and 14 weeks for this test. You'll probably undergo a combined screening, including a serum test to check your blood. Together, these two tests determine whether baby has a genetic defect. Remember -- though a nuchal translucency test might show increased thickness in baby’s neck, your blood test results could rule out Downsyndrome. In this scenario, there is the possibility of a slight heart defect, and your doctor will most likely run further tests on your baby’s heart.

American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists. Your pregnancy and birth. 4th ed. Washington, DC: ACOG; 2005.

Paula Kashtan

re: Q: Nuchal Translucency Screening?

Does anyone know if these are always done in 3D? Most people that have had NT scans seem to have had them done in 3D...

happytobemrs.m |

re: Q: Nuchal Translucency Screening?

I had it done and it was NOT in 3D. Just a regular ultrasound + bloodwork.

FreshStartMama |

re: Q: Nuchal Translucency Screening?

My insurance doesn't cover the screening, so I'm pretty bummed. But when I expressed my dismay about it to the customer service rep that was discussing it w/ me, her answer was "Well, it's kind of pointless when you think about it...I mean, what would you change if you knew? Would you abort the baby?" ARE YOU KIDDING?!? NO I would not abort the baby! But it would at least give hubby & I time to plan...mentally as well as financially. I couldn't believe she said that.

hollyrashel |

re: Q: Nuchal Translucency Screening?

my midwife is recommending this for me b/c of my age, and because the hospital we are planning on using for delivery is not as well equipped for handling complicated neo-natal issues as a hospital that is a little further away.i am going to call my insurance tonight to see if it will be covered.

jennterrell |

re: Q: Nuchal translucency screening?

I called my insurance company twice (Aetna) and they had no idea what code went with this test. It will only be covered if it's billed/coded as "medically necessary" by my doctor. We'll have to talk about that!

GrnMachine |

re: Q: Nuchal translucency screening?

I am not sure if I am going to get it, even in the insurance covers it ........ my friend had it done - came back indicating the baby had Downs (the baby ended up being PERFECT and gorgeous) - and the dr. actually recomended my friend abort the baby. It was terrible!!!

john-elizabeth |

re: Q: Nuchal translucency screening?

I actually had the test done and it came back abnormal. We had a CVS test done after that and it came back normal (negative for Downs and other genetic abnormalities that they know about.) We did not terminate the pregnancy, but my baby was born with a Syndrome that the Doctors could not diagnose. He passed away at 3 months last November. This week would have been his first birthday. I guess my big learning was that sometimes the tests ARE right, and sometimes you're not on the positive side of the tests. Bad things do happen in pregnancy, and they can happen to any one of us, so everyone should be prepared with whatever information THEY need to make THEIR OWN decisions. And no one (doctors nor insurance reps..) should judge you for those decisions.

gabriellesmum |

re: Q: Nuchal translucency screening?

For those of you with Aetna, here is how to tell if things are covered: Go to www.aetna.comclick on Members: Public Informationclick on Health Coverage Informationclick on Clinical Policy Bulletinsselect Medicalaccept the termssearch for anything These are the documents that tell you what is covered. They even give the proper billing codes for procedures. Good luck!

Mike&Rae |

re: Q: Nuchal translucency screening?

Well I was scheduled to have this done after researching if my insurance coverd this test, only to find out the place my doctor sends women to have this done was not in my insurances network, so to make a long story short I have to cancel.

tweeter_40 |

re: Q: Nuchal translucency screening?

I'm 22 and in my 7th week..my Dr. mentioned this downsyndrome testing to me for my next appointment, but I don't feel I need it..I basically just want another ultrasound to see my baby! Also..if I were to find out there was something wrong, I would never terminate the pregnancy..any thoughts?

starkbaby22 |

re: Q: Nuchal translucency screening?

I'm 10w3d and went for my first ob/gyn appointment today. My doctor recommended this ultrasound, even though it costs $175 and is not covered by my insurance. It apparently detects 85% of cases of Down Sydrome, Trisomy 13/18 and spina bifida and has a 5% false positive rate. If it does come back positive, then you can have amniocentisis to know for certain, but amnio carries a small miscarriage risk. I'm going to do it -- I don't know if I'd terminate the pregnancy, but would certainly want to educate myself and plan for a baby with special needs.

Istaliz |

re: Q: Nuchal translucency screening?

This is my third pregnacy and I've never heard of this test. The only test I've ever done to detect if the baby was special needs has Bern the triple screen. My husband and I both feel that if our baby was to be born with a defect its cause God figured we could handle it. Like a friend of mine who has a girl with Downs "If you knew your child was going to have learning disability or ADHD would you abort?" Got me thinking!

sloanzookpr |

re: Q: Nuchal translucency screening?

sloanzookpr-thank you for your comments. Whether or not someone decideds to have this test is fine either way. The thing that frustrates me is those who want so badly to have children, but are willing to terminate a pregnancy when they find out something could be wrong. I work with students with disabilities and they are just as precious and wonderful as any other child. Another thing our dr. pointed out was that when you become a parent it becomes a lifelong process about being nervous on the things that could go wrong with your child. These are only a few of the things that you could find out during your pregnancy and there are so many other things that we cannot prepare for. Either way, won't you love your child unconditionally and take it as it comes??

PaulKelli |

re: Q: Nuchal translucency screening?

Well I am a soon to be new mom....it has taken me several years to try and get pregnant and have a viable pregnancey....I understand the need to know for a lot of people but I have the veiw point of this is my baby my child a life that I was blessed with and I will do whatever it takes to keep my baby safe....so personally I am opting not to have the test done. I know that I will love my baby no matter what problems may arise....I feel blessed to be given the chance to have a baby and that is enough for me...

LADYGODDESS3000@YAHOO.COM |

re: Q: Nuchal translucency screening?

LADYGODDESS3000 I have to tell you how impressed I was when I read your comment on this. There is a big difference in our ages, I just turned 41, but, like you, I have been trying to conceive for a VERY long time. I have finally been blessed to have a child And I am due Oct. 19, 2009. I have decided not to have this test. Thank God I am in good health, I eat well and am taking the correct amount of vitamins and folic acid that my doctor has recommended for me. I refuse to let anything happen to my baby with these tests. Especially the amino test.....NEVER. That test comes with a very high risk of miscarriages. I can't allow that. Both myself and my husband have gone through to much to be at the point we are now. All I can do is pray and hope for the best. Whatever God grants us will be our lifes greatest gift, no matter what.

GinaBeeley |

re: Q: Nuchal translucency screening?

for me this test seems like a must! Not because we would terminate pregnancy but so we could best prepare for a child that may need a little more. We already have a six year old and would not give up our children for anything but it would be nice to know that we have a little knowledge that might help our child!!

rockabilly_bride2009 |

re: Q: Nuchal translucency screening?

Mine was not done in 3D

queenbee70737 |

re: Q: Nuchal translucency screening?

I would make sure to get both blood test results and normal/abnormal ultrasound results at the same time... my husband and I were told the ultrasound was abnormal, but the blood work won't come back for a week. It is a very stressful week waiting for that to come in- I wish they would have waited until they knew the risks for sure.

lindsay616 |

Q&A: Nuchal translucency screening?

i'm only 18 this is hard enough as it is my blood work came back abnormal and now the doctors want me to take a test that could potentially harm my child i just can't do that what would it change it would just make me stress even more yes it's good to be prepared but how much preparation would u need for a new born born with special needs either way god gave me a blessing and i'm gonna cherish so i'm gonna pass on the second test i just couldn't live with myself if i miscarried because i chose to take a test because of abnormal blood work

shakiara~Kaywave |

Q&A: Nuchal translucency screening?

I don't usually post but figured I would add my two cents on this subject because I have a dissenting opinion. I feel that most of the responses to questions on genetic testing seem to include negative judgment toward those who would terminate a pregnancy due to an identified birth defect. I am older and expecting. I will be getting a CVS despite the 1% risk of miscarriage as well as the Nuchal Translucency U/S. I would personally choose to terminate my pregnancy if I found out that my child had a confirmed birth defect such as Downs Syndrome. I have worked with developmentally challenged adults in residential settings as well as persons with various psychological conditions in a geriatric setting. I feel that it is my obligation to provide for the safety and well being of my child and do not believe that this is something that I could successfully do if the child were to have a severe mental disability. I have been in and out of institutions in a professional capacity and would never wish that on my child. The likelihood of my child outliving me due to the fact that I am a little older is a serious reality and there would be no where else for them to go except and institution. I am not suggesting that my way is the right way. By the same token I do not want other women trying to do what they feel is right for themselves and their child to feel persecuted for taking calculated risks in the form of genetics tests and acting on them via termination.

JustMy2Cents |

Q&A: Nuchal translucency screening?

I had a nuchal translucency with this pregnancy and the last. The ultrasound measurements were normal, but my blood work put me at a bit of an increased risk. I wish I hadn't gone for this test, only because I am having an amnio anyway, but now I will stress it until I have my amnio and get my results.

NYBlondyO |

Q&A: Nuchal translucency screening?

I strongly agree with JustMy2Cents. Personally, I'm going to have the test and don't know how I will react to the results. I'm also in a low-risk category. However, we all need to be careful about using forums like this to judge other women in their very private decisions about how they parent. It's wonderful that so many people feel deep, guided love for their potential child, but you have to remember that other women can feel that love and still decide to terminate the pregnancy. When it comes to these decisions, a woman has to know what is in her heart, what she and her family are capable of giving, and, ultimately, the kind of life they can provide for a future child. I hope that any woman looking on this page who would consider or is considering termination knows that there are people out there who support your decision and know that it takes courage and love to decide.

moxasiegel |

Q&A: Nuchal translucency screening?

I had the test today at 12 weeks. I am 41 and have had two miscarriages in the past 18 months. The ultrasound result came back wonderfully! beautiful little baby on the screen - however I agree with JustMy2Cents that the decision to carry a Downs baby to term is very personal, complicated and needs to take all members of the family into account. Our primary thoughts were that we are raising our 10 year old twins, and having a Downs baby would be a huge adjustment for our other two children, one of whom has special needs. Some families who desperately want children make the painful decision to terminate based on the resources and needs of all of the family members - including our other children who we devote all of our time and attention. I agree with moxasiegel (above) that there are many people who are sympathetic and understanding to people of all choices, and we respect the choices that some families decide to make under difficult situations.

heartbean |

Q&A: Nuchal translucency screening?

I never post on this site, but I agree with Just My2Cents as well. My husband and I have family members with disabilities, and have both seen what it's like to raise a child with severe developmental delays and what happens when both parents die and leave their developmentally-delayed child behind (in my family's case, a 50-something woman who is now institutionalized because she has no more surviving siblings to care for her). Because a woman is considering terminating a pregnancy doesn't mean she isn't already in love with her child. I had an NTS screening that showed a higher than average risk of Downs, and I opted for the CVS to be sure of the result (we're still waiting on results). I am in love with it, but I will not hesitate to terminate my pregnancy should it result in a developmentally delayed child destined for a lifetime of problems. That doesn't mean to say I'll go skipping to a clinic with joy in my heart to get rid of it. The decision to terminate a pregnancy is not an easy one, and to suggest otherwise is insensitive and ill-advised on a forum where women are looking to their peers for support and advice and not a religious doctrine.

AngelaNewman |

Q&A: Nuchal translucency screening?

I think some people are judging others for having the test. (most of you aren't, but those that are, don't understand the reasons behind the test.) Most people, including myself, had the test done so that they could be prepared when a special needs baby comes into the world. Just because couples are deciding to get the test done, does not mean that they are going to terminate the baby. As some have mentioned, the hospitals that are close to them cannot support special needs newborns. Some who may have been considering birthing centers, would have to gitve birth at a hospital once they find out that a special needs baby is on the way. having the test done is about being prepared, not about having an abortion. so leave your personal judgements out of it.

jessicajfahner |

Q&A: Nuchal translucency screening?

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