What to Expect During Your First Trimester Screening

pregancy testing -86502330In addition to your routine prenatal tests, it is recommended that you schedule an appointment for a first-trimester screening. These tests are highly important as they can help your doctor to gather information about the baby’s risk of developing certain chromosomal conditions such as Down syndrome, trisomy 13 or trisomy 18.

First trimester screenings are typically conducted between the eleventh and fourteenth week of pregnancy. The process is non-invasive and safe; there are no known physical risks associated with having these tests.

During your appointment, your doctor will draw blood to measure levels of plasma protein-A and human chorionic gonadotropin, or hCG. An ultrasound will also be performed to measure the nuchal translucency, which is the fluid beneath the skin of the baby’s neck.  Increased thickness can be an early indicator of Down syndrome.

It is important to keep in mind that these tests are not diagnostic. The results, along with factors such as your age, family history and ethnicity are used to help determine the risks of your baby developing chromosomal abnormalities. The results may also indicate a need for further testing that may include CVS (chorionic villus sampling) or amniocentesis.

The Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine at Flushing Hospital Medical Center has the most up-to-date equipment for the evaluation of mother and fetus. The division is staffed by full-time Board Certified Perinatologists and highly trained nurses. Genetic counseling, amniocentesis, diabetic counseling, as well as maternal-fetal evaluation are offered during the course of pregnancy.

For more information about the many services offered by the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Flushing Hospital, please call 718-670-8994.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.