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.