The first trimester screen is a test to assess your pregnancy’s risk for Down syndrome, another chromosome abnormality called Trisomy 18, and sometimes Trisomy 13. A “normal” result on a screening test decreases but does not eliminate the chance that your pregnancy has one of these disorders.
This screen uses a combination of your age, a blood test, and a specialized ultrasound. The blood test looks at the levels of different proteins in your blood that are produced by the pregnancy. The specialized ultrasound measures the thickness of the fluid on the back of the fetus’s neck (the nuchal translucency). Our physicians and sonographers are specially trained and certified in this screening test.
The combined blood test and the nuchal translucency measurements from the ultrasound are sent to a specialized laboratory to determine your risk. Results are usually available in about one week or at your visit if you have elected the Instant Risk Assessment (see below for more information).
Your obstetrician can refer you to our office for this test to be completed around 11-13 weeks of your pregnancy.
Instant Risk Assessment “IRA” First Trimester Screen
For the earliest results with the First Trimester Screen, our practice works with a number of excellent laboratories to provide you with instant results.
You would need to visit our office at least one week prior to your ultrasound visit/exam for a finger stick or blood draw from your arm.
You would then return for your ultrasound between 11 and 13 weeks of pregnancy. At this appointment, we would measure the nuchal translucency and then provide you with the results of your First Trimester Screening that day in our office. Ask our scheduler about this option when making your appointment. If you prefer to complete everything in one visit, the ultrasound and blood work can be completed at the same appointment between 11 and 13 weeks of pregnancy and the results will be returned about 1 week after your appointment.