Monday, October 1, 2012

Fetal abnormality screening and distress associated with it

Fetal abnormalities scans: You will be offered screening tests that can detect structural abnormalities like spina bifida, which is a defect in the development of the spine, or some chromosomal disorders like Down’s syndrome, which is caused by an abnormal number of chromosomes. Different maternity services may use different tests, but all tests carried out in the NHS will meet national standards. Discuss the tests and what they mean with your midwife.
Screening tests can:
reassure you that your baby has no detected structural abnormalities
provide you with an opportunity to see your baby during the scan
Give you time to prepare for the arrival of a baby with special needs
Tests can also provide valuable advices for your care during the pregnancy. However, no test can guarantee that your baby will be born without an abnormality. No test is 100% accurate and some abnormalities may remain undetected.
Distress associated with parental screening for fetal abnormality
You may not want to have a screening test if you think that you would continue your pregnancy whatever the results. If you do have a screening test and it suggests an increased chance of a chromosomal abnormality, you will be offered diagnostic tests, which will give a more definite diagnosis. These diagnostic tests carry a small risk of miscarriage, so you may decide not to have them. Discussing the issues with your partner, midwife, doctor and friends may help you in deciding what is right for you.

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