A story of premature birth and the NICU roller coaster

First trimester screening, Down’s syndrome vs false positive

on October 12, 2012

I was told the first trimester screening was mandatory by my OBGYN. I had it done and the sonogram came out fine but the blood work drastically increased the chances of my baby being born with Downs Syndrome. This was a trying time for my husband and I . We knew we wouldn’t abort but we were afraid we weren’t going to be able to raise the baby with all the complications that can come with Downs Syndrome. We wanted to know as much as we could about our baby’s future. I was considered high risk after this and had a few extra tests and sonograms. I also had to go to a Pediatric Cardiologist for a sonogram to see if the baby’s heart was ok. They look for certain things with Downs Syndrome. The baby was perfect, no markers for downs on the sonogram. When I went to the high risk specialist for the anomaly screening, it showed nothing of note . This was awesome for two reasons: 1. The chance of my baby having downs, in my mind, was slim to none.(dr said he looks fine) 2. The Dr was horribly rude, after saying the baby was fine he suggested the amniocentesis as a precaution because he said nothing is 100 percent, while I appreciate his thoroughness, when I politely declined, he said you have limited time to change your mind…ok…I said thank you but not at this time, he got mad and said FINE, then threw a towel at me and said clean yourself up, and stormed out. In any event I heard from a few friends and family that said they all had false positives with boys(this was the day I found out my baby was a boy). This made me wonder if there was something in my family medical history that caused this false positive or was this test really unreliable. If you have any experience or knowledge on the topic please let me know. Either way I think it’s important to test for anything that could impact the baby medically. I also think maybe they should revisit what the test should be for this.


3 responses to “First trimester screening, Down’s syndrome vs false positive

  1. mmmarzipan says:

    I have a friend who had false positives with both her babies- a boy and a girl (a 1 in 100 chance of Downs with both… and amnios with both that proved the NT scans wrong). The stress of the amnios was horrible for her and partly why she will not have anymore kids. I have a condition (SCH) that can also produce false positive results and there are conditions that do (anything that involves blood in the uterus can produce a false positive… as if blood in the uterus wasn’t scary enough! Sheesh!). Luckily I didn’t get a positive result as an amnio is out of the question (my pregnancy is deemed high risk because of the SCH). Sorry about the rude doctor! I wish you and your baby all the best 🙂

  2. saifsmom2012 says:

    Thanks for your response. I did have bleeding early on which one doctor said was a sub chorionic hemmorage , but then they decided it was from a cervical polyp. I was thinking the sch was more likely because I had a fibroid show up on the sono then immediately after this sono tons of blood. I had wondered if it was possible for the sono to cause this bleeding(she pushed so hard and I said your hurting me, she said it was because the placenta was in the front) then she said she now could see 4 tiny fibroids. She left the room and the doctor said, she doesn’t want to do your sono anymore because she doesn’t know enough about fibroids. So I went back the next day with all this bleeding but they said they didn’t see any bleeding in the uterus and the baby was fine. Also these fibroids disappeared… I insisted on bed rest and this I think was key to stop the bleeding and maybe stop a miscarraige. Anyway after the first trimester screen, which was after this, she said there was nothing that could influence the test. So I’m glad you posted. This eases my mind. I read there could be issues and wondered if this was a sch or a possible miscarry of a twin . It’s always been on my mind.

  3. mmmarzipan says:

    Wow. Something similar happened to me. If you read my latest post ( it outlines some of what I went through. I also describe how it took 13 ultrasounds (I know- crazy, right?) until I was diagnosed correctly. It really sounds to me like you did in fact have SCH and that it is probably resolving (which is great). But I am a member of an SCH support group and many women have had false positive NT scan results directly linked to having had SCH! Doctors actually seem to know very little about SCH (I saw 10 different doctors before my correct diagnosis!). When I had my second major bleed it was after an ultrasound. I have since refused anything other than trans-abdominal ultra sounds. My placenta is also at the front and as SCH is thought to be initially caused by placental bleeding, it makes sense that extra pressure on the area where the placenta is located could cause a bleed.

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