Posted by: MMM | 2004/01/05

First Trimester Down screening

How necessary is this test? I am 26 years old and in my 12th week of my 2nd pregnancy. I didn't have to go for this test the first time around. It is very costly and I'm worried about depleting my medical aid funds before the birth. Do I have to go for this test?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageGynaeDoc

You don't have to have the test. It is entirely your decision. It is offered as many women wish to be reassured about the chances of having a normal baby.

Best wishes

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Our users say:
Posted by: Kate | 2004/01/05

I am also on Discovery and pay for my gynae appts up front and my medical aid reimburses the medical aid portion of each bill I submit. It is usually about 45% of the bill. I wasn't charged extra for the nuchal fold scan. My blood tests are paid in full by the medical aid out of my medical savings. I am 31 weeks now and my medical savings is still okay. It does add up but I really do think it is worth having the blood tests done. Even if it is just for your own peace of mind.

I think you should chat to your gynae about this and maybe they can work out a special rate for you with the lab. You never get a discount if you don't ask :-)

Reply to Kate
Posted by: Purple | 2004/01/05

Its not compulsory.

Basically, it usually recommended for a number of reasons:

1. If you would consider terminating the pregnancy in the case of a downs syndrome baby, it means that you don't have to have an amnio up front, but can have the risk assessed, and if it is high go for an amnio, and then only be faced with the decision if the amnio shows that the baby is in fact downs syndrome. If the risk is low, then you don't even need to go for the amnio.

2. If you would never consider terminating the pregnancy, then if your screening test shows a high risk of downs syndrome, you can choose whether to have the amnio or not to know for certain, and in this way prepare yourself for the arrival of your baby regardless of the result, but with time to join support groups and get read up on the condition if necessary so that you're fully prepared.

Perhaps phone your medical aid and speak to a consultant. On my medical aid (Discovery), the plan we're on pays for the birth out of the hospital funds and the gynae appointment costs and scans before the birth out of the medical savings fund. They paid for me to have a nuchal scan and blood tests at 12 weeks, a scan at 5 weeks to confirm the pregnancy, and a scan at 20 weeks. However, my savings account for 2003 was depleted by about September, so I've been paying for gynae appointments myself.

Good luck.

Reply to Purple

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