Is it possible to detect Down’s syndrome during pregnancy?

Antenatal screening tests can be used to test for Down’s syndrome. The most common test for Down’s syndrome is combined screening; this involves a blood test and an ultrasound scan known as nuchal translucency. The nuchal translucency test measures the thickness of the nuchal pad, which is located at the nape of the baby’s neck; babies with Down’s syndrome usually have a thicker nuchal pad than usual. A serum test can also be used; this test involves examining the chemicals in the blood; the test can work out the chances of the baby having Down’s syndrome.

Screening tests, including amniocentesis and the CVS (chorionic villus sampling) can both be used to detect Down’s syndrome and all women have the option to have the test. Usually tests are only recommended for women aged over 35, those with a family history of genetic or inherited conditions and those who have had scans which have identified possible abnormalities.

The tests are fairly quick and can produce results in around 10 days- 2 weeks; the CVS test can be carried out before amniocentesis at around 14 weeks.

FAQS Index : Down's Syndrome

FAQs Intro

  1. What is Down’s syndrome?
  2. Are there different forms of Down’s syndrome?
  3. What causes Down’s syndrome?
  4. Are there any risk factors?
  5. What are the symptoms of Down’s syndrome?
  1. What are the effects of Down’s syndrome?
  2. What treatments are available for Down’s syndrome?
  3. How common is Down’s syndrome?
  4. Is it possible to detect Down’s syndrome during pregnancy?
  5. Is there any help or support available for people with Down’s syndrome?

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