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Q&A: What's a multiple marker screening?

What's the multiple marker screening, and when is it performed?

Re: What's the multiple marker screening, and when is it performed?

The Bump Expert

The multiple marker screening (or triple screen or quad screen) is a simple blood test done between 15 and 20 weeks to detect the level of different substances in your blood: estriol, Human chorionic gonadotropin(hCG), Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) and, if you're having a quad screen, Inhibin-A.Estriol is a hormone manufactured in combination by you, your placenta, and baby, while hCG and Inhibin-A are hormones made solely by the placenta. AFP is a substance made by your baby, and passes in a small amount from the placenta to your blood. Together, levels of these substances show baby's risk (or lack of) certain birth defects. (The only difference between the triple and quad screen is that the quad screen is more likely to identify whether a pregnancy is at risk for Down syndrome, and is less likely to give a false positive.) Abnormal results don't necessarily mean there's a problem, though -- it's simply a signal that further testing -- probably CVS or amniocentesis -- is a good idea.

Make sure not to procrastinate! This test can only be accurately performed between 15 and 20 weeks of pregnancy, and all it requires is a blood drawing. The triple screen can also detect whether your pregnancy is further along than previously thought. And, if you’re beginning to suspect you might be eating for more than just two, this test will be able to tell you just how many buns you have in that oven!

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

Paula Kashtan

re: Q: What's a multiple marker?

I didn't have an opportunity to take this test. A miscalculation in my due date caused me to miss it!! Hopefully my baby doesn't have anything wrong with him! Are there any signs in my body that could tip me off if something were wrong?

pigsamurai |

re: Q: What's a multiple marker?

I actually wish I didn't know about any of these tests and had missed them. I have a hard time with the desire to know if or if not the child has 'problems'. I would like to bask in the pregnancy miracle and be hopeful when the delivery comes that all will be well. And if not, then feel the emotions, and pray to God to have the strength to get through. I have an appointment for an NT in two weeks but am still confused if I should actually follow through.

bebetulips |

re: Q: What's a multiple marker?

i actually had this test done about 2 weeks ago and the doctor's office called me really early in the morning a week later and i pretty much freaked out cause they don't even open for another 45 minutes...but it was to tell me that my blood had somehow gotten switched or there was some sort of mix up. my hubby and i were talking about it last night and decided against it. it seemed as though it was some sort of sign that maybe it wasn't necessary. and it's not like it would matter what the outcome would be...he/she would still be our little peapod...

rpridgen8 |

re: Q: What's a multiple marker?

Oh I loved my NT scan but I've never even heard of this on I'll have to ask my doctor when I go in on the 12th

BetsyDavis |

Q&A: What's a multiple marker screening?

I took the test and it came back with a false positive it was very scary! I will not have it again we decided to have a second child!

craigswife2008 |

Q&A: What's a multiple marker screening?

I had this two weeks ago. I'm over 35 and was delighted to hear that my risk of having a baby with down syndrome went from 1/227 (based on my age) to 1/2050 (based on the test results). as a bonus, it was fun to see my growing baby on the ultrasound and hear the heartbeat.

angielane21 |

Q&A: What's a multiple marker screening?

I am only 22 and my quad screen results show that my baby has a 1:27 chance of having down syndrome. However, my ultrasounds look perfect. I wish I had never taken that stupid blood test..I had no idea it was voluntary, but if my husband and I ever have another baby, we have already agreed that I AM NOT taking the quad screen again. It causes unnecessary worry. I hope my baby is healthy & doesn't have down syndrome, but no matter what I will keep my child. Pointless test.

Sarah.b86 |

Q&A: What's a multiple marker screening?

We decided against the test. They aren't always accurate and I don't need the extra worry.

cassie@campbellsnursery.com |

Q&A: What's a multiple marker screening?

I am very undecided about this test...I did not have it with my other two children..I am not sure if I should do it with this one or not...I go back and fourth I would like to know if something is wrong but then again to I want to ruin the rest of my pregnancy worrying that something is or isn't....Still undecided hopefully I come up with a decision sooner or later.

Runeta |

Q&A: What's a multiple marker screening?

I had this test and we discovered my baby will be born with Spina Bifida. I consider it a blessing that we know now, and can prepare for what we will face after he is born. I seriously never thought this test would show anything, and I did it only because I am high risk in other areas and my dr. mentioned we might as well do this one too. It ruined a couple weeks of my pregnancy knowing something is wrong, but it allowed me to hook up with specialists, resources and especially other families who have helped me so much to understand this is not the end of the world. Of course, I still wish this were not happening...but it is, and the opportunity to prepare is worth while.

ginleigh |

Q&A: What's a multiple marker screening?

I had the blood test done last week on Monday and got a call from the office on Wed morning letting me know everything was just fine. One simple blood draw for a heads up is not bad. I would not do the amnio though...

treesej |

Q&A: What's a multiple marker screening?

i wasn't going to do the test as my husband and i both felt that it would not change our feelings about having the baby and we didn't want to risk a false positive. i called to discuss this with my doc and she said that since it tests for spina bifida, that can actually be fixed. there are risks of false positives but i was thankful to hear that there is a high level ultra sound you can do before amnio if you get a false positive...so fingers crossed we don't even have to worry about the amnio because i really have no desire to go through that risk.

kskaggs7@hotmail.com |

Q&A: What's a multiple marker screening?

After discussing with my husband if he would feel any different if we had something wrong with our child or not we have decided to no do this or any other tests that will test for defects with our child. Plus our Doctor let me know that since I was already high risk (due to multi miscarriages before & with a really weak cervic) that it would probably be better for me to not worry about this. (I am only 11 weeks & already on bedrest for the rest of my pregnancy)

jacquelinholder |

Q&A: What's a multiple marker screening?

I recieved results today after taking the test because all of the nurses encouraged it... I wish I would have done more research about it as I would have forgone those stupid tests. According to my doctor, there is a 1:150 chance my baby will have down syndrome. I'm stressing out SO much, and I have to wait a week for my level 2 U/S appt. As far as my doctor told me, the blood test just points to there being a risk.. so if my baby doesn't have down syndrome afterall, it wouldn't be a false positive, it would be the 149:150 chance that she wouldn't. So I'm not sure I would call these "false positives" but nonetheless, I don't think its healthy for baby at all when mom is stressing THIS much.. I know the chances are fairly slim but my nerves are wrecked, and my husband is annoyed that I can't just let it go and wait to worry until we know for sure. These test results have turned me into a complete mess.... well maybe its the hormones too...

mollylila |

Q&A: What's a multiple marker screening?

I had this test at 17 weeks...I'm 19 now....and the dr called me and scared the crap out of me that my test results showed a 1:37 chance of our baby having trisomy 18...I went for a level 2 ultrasound the next day that showed all was fine, Thank God. If I had known that this test was voluntary or that the rate of false positive was so high I would never have taken this test....and will NEVER do it again.

number3herewecome |

Q&A: What's a multiple marker screening?

I wish I didn't have to take this test! I passed on it originally and am now 19 weeks. I went in for my 18 week ultrasound (the big anatomy scan) and they found an isolated echogenic cardiac focus that is a soft marker for Downs Syndrome. Now my doctor is insisting we do the quad in the absence of any other indications because we simply need more data at this point. I have a Level II ultrasound scheduled in 2 weeks and waiting on pins and needles for my lab results this morning. This is exactly why I DIDN'T want the test to begin with. I thought I was doing myself a service by avoiding the concern but now I find that this test may actually save my sanity. Next time, my husband and I want to try to avoid the 20-week ultrasound too! Good luck on that one, but we just feel that ignorance is bliss and we have totally lost our "glow" from having a baby. Now, we're just at total crying, nervous wreck. Damn technology!

jmmiller28 |

Q&A: What's a multiple marker screening?

I didn't even have to ask for one. My doctor informed me that they would be doing the test when I went in for my last appointment. Hopefully the results turn out all right!

rezelle |

Q&A: What's a multiple marker screening?

I am hesitant of doing all these test ! I'll love my baby no matter what! I am enjoying my pregnancy with no worries trusting God that my baby is perfectly healthy.

Q-nana |

Q&A: What's a multiple marker screening?

I had mine done last week, the only reason i wanted it done is so that if they did find anything out of the ordinary i would have a lot more time to study into it and how to take care of a child that might have this. I got my results monday and they came out with me being low risk and having a 1 in 10,000 chance of this child having down syndrome. i loved being able to see the baby moving for the first time as well. when my husband and i are ready for more children i will definitely be having this done again. I feel that it can make you more aware of what is going on inside you and give you more time to prepare everything for you raising the child.

SicChk13 |

Q&A: What's a multiple marker screening?

I'll be honest, I took all of these early tests and wish I hadn't. They all came back abnormal and all I have done is stress and worry for the last month. Now I'm getting an amnio and will worry for another 10 days until the results come in. Do we really need to know everything?

Katie52008 |

Q&A: What's a multiple marker screening?

I'm 23 weeks and I'm having twins, I took the test and it came back negative. I was really anxious when I took it because my mother had down syndrome and my cousin passed away at 17 with cystic fibroses. I was scared of not knowing so when it came back negative I felt very relieved.

jamysgirl |

Q&A: What's a multiple marker screening?

I got my test results last week and it came back saying that my baby has a risk of down syndrome. My husband and I have been bursting out in crying spells eveytime we see a healthy baby on the street. I don't know how I feel about the test. I would like the heads up but the stress of it all is driving me crazy. I just want to crawl in a hole and don't want to see anyone. I am planning to cancel gatherings with friends and parties because I just can't bare to smile and pretend everything is ok...but I am hopeing everything is ok!

byulpak |

Q&A: What's a multiple marker screening?

we did our tests last week adn got our results today. Our numbers were very good, chances for downs syndrome and other complications were 1:16,000 or higher the highest was 1:36,000 also the full ultrasound scan looked great. so it was a sigh of relief for us. Were glad we did it because even if the results had gone the other way it would have been nice to have time to prepare for the possibility

shellcsmith |

Q&A: What's a multiple marker screening?

My husband and I declined the test. In view of the false positive rate and the chances of needed an amniocentesis or CVS, we decided it was not worth the stress and the risk of miscarriage involved. We are christians and we are trusting God for a normal healthy baby.

gvanessa |

Q&A: What's a multiple marker screening?

This test is apparently part of the "normal" routine for my doctor at 15 weeks. I'll be 19 weeks and having a check-up tomorrow. I'm nervous because a) this is my first baby b) the tests were done 4 weeks ago and c) she's NOT doing an ultrasound (which made both me and my husband mad).

joeysmama0201 |

Q&A: What's a multiple marker screening?

We are 19 weeks, and had the test done at 16 weeks, but have not heard any of the results yet. Is it odd that we have not heard from our Dr.? I am worried that not hearing the news over the phone could mean that the results were abnormal, any thoughts? I am very worried, and have an appointment on Monday, but want to be prepared if the results will be bad...

timmonse |

Q&A: What's a multiple marker screening?

I barely made it to have this test. My appointment came 1 day before my 21st week and my doctor assigned me to have the quad testing. It was so simple and plainless (besides the fact that whatever tape they used on my arm after gave me a slight allergic reaction, ha!).

TristaSterling |

Q&A: What's a multiple marker screening?

Is there anything more recent than over half a DECADE AGO?: American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists. Your pregnancy and birth. 4th ed. Washington, DC: ACOG; 2005. Paula Kashtan | June 15 , 2009 2:33 PM

baby2012nyc |

Q&A: What's a multiple marker screening?

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watson012 |

Q&A: What's a multiple marker screening?

When anyone went for any of these tests, did they sit through genetic counseling for over an hour? I only went for the first screening at 12 weeks, and they explained the odds moreso with numbers and percentage... With my age being 41, I went from 1 in 40 which would automatically give me a positive reading for down syndrome... After the ultrasound and blood test, I went to a 1 in 120... The counselor explained that it basically translates to LESS than 1% a baby with down syndrome. I can live with that and see no reason to stress anymore or worry, just be positive. I've seen and heard so many people freak because they get a positive reading, then complain about the doctors being wrong, when they've stressed until delivery only to have a perfectly healthy baby. We need to just be positive and accept what God gives us. Many people do not understand how these tests work, and that they are basically all statistics. In a majority of cases, things work out just fine. I'm not having anymore tests and stressing. If things don't go well, I'm sure the same help and counseling will be available when the time comes. Good luck to all the mommies out there and please don't stress :-)

sonja1403 |

Q&A: What's a multiple marker screening?

I have had the first part of thr test performed and everything came back normal and I am getting the 2nd set of bloodwork done it about 2 weeks. I only choe to get this done to prepare if something is wrong. It is scary waiting, but I think being prepared and having people to help you cope beforehand is the best thing you can do.

kcknievel |

Q&A: What's a multiple marker screening?

For us mothers of "advanced maternal age" (over 35; in my case, 41) the stress of possible birth defects based solely on our age is enough to make me want some piece of mind, which the quad test will (hopefully) do for you. I, like others, would like to prepare for any child that may have special needs, and I would like my husband to get a chance to prepare as well. Also, if the tests show a healthy pregnancy, relieving yourself and your baby of that stress early in your pregnancy is a very good thing!

jcrising |

Q&A: What's a multiple marker screening?

This is my first pregnancy and I'm scheduled to have this test done next week (16 weeks). I am looking forward to knowing what's going on with the baby now and the results would not change the decision of having it, but I don't like that type of surprises. It anything comes back abnormal, it will just give me and my husband more time to prepare and be ready to deal with a child that may require special attention. I'm really hoping for the best.

GGHdez |

Q&A: What's a multiple marker screening?

I had the quad marker test done because I needed to know even though my risk is low because I'm only 26 but it's still higher than I would like(0%). And my husband and I figured we may as well since it doesn't cost any extra. The results came back normal and 2 weeks later we got to see our baby boy on our first ultra sound. If it we had gotten an abnormal result, I would've had an ultra sound and amnio since my dr said the quad marker can give a false positive but the amnio would be 100% accurate. If we had been told that our baby had Downs or spina bifida

Emu1085 |

Q&A: What's a multiple marker screening?

or really anything that would effect quality of life negatively, my husband and I agreed that we would abort the pregnancy because we both know we can't handle a special needs child. And we don't believe it's fair to bring a child into the world who will never progress beyond childhood.

Emu1085 |

Q&A: What's a multiple marker screening?

Ugh I didn't want it but I was kind of bullied into it by the nurse at the dr office. I checked No on the form but the nurse sent me next door to the blood lab anyway. Now I'm stressed out.

PetuniaFeatherbottom |

Q&A: What's a multiple marker screening?

I am 40 and decided to do the cell-free fetal DNA test a couple of weeks ago ~12 weeks into my pregnancy. It came back normal as did the NT. I will probably not do this test in addition to the ones I have already had.

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Q&A: What's a multiple marker screening?

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