Quad Screening

11 Dec

Oh geez, I looked up the name of the blood test that I’m going to be drawn for next Thursday.  Dr. V wants me to go in for a “quad screen” and I’ve had so much blood drawn in my life that I didn’t think to ask what she was testing for this time, so I didn’t think to ask while I was there.

The quad screen will look at my levels of hCG, AFP, Estriol, and Inhibin-A – proteins and hormones that are present in the baby and thus detectable in my blood.  The purpose is to screen for the likelihood of certain defects like Down Syndrome, Spina Bifida and other genetic disorders based on different combinations of the protein and hormone levels.  It’s a bit more accurate than the triple screen, which doesn’t look at the Inhibin, at least when detecting Down Syndrome.

According to what I’ve cobbled together from WebMD and a few reputable looking websites, this type of screening is ideal for me (and my baby) because I am young (thus not considered to have the risk of chromosomal abnormalities of a woman with older ova) but have the risk factor of being a diabetic on insulin (some places cite this as having Type 1, but I guess the need for insulin is the main factor).  The same problems can be tested by amniocentesis, but that is a heck of a lot more involved and runs the tiny risk of infection and possible pregnancy loss.  With the blood screening, I only have to deal with that risk if the results from the blood screen indicate a high chance of a problem, otherwise I move on with my merry little baby bump.

I’m not too worked up about this, at least not after thinking about it for a moment.  It’s just a screening, not a diagnostic test, and if something was not perfect with my baby I would want to know right away so that we can prepare our house, lives and families to accommodate the child’s needs.  Besides this is about as non-invasive as pregnancy screenings get – seriously, I’d rather give blood than pee in a cup any day of the week.

But still, there’s that thought of, “oh shit, why do they gotta check?”

[Pregnancy paranoia] + [anxiety-prone person] = [a lot more meditating to do]


One Response to “Quad Screening”


  1. Doctor tomorrow! « Pregnant and… - January 5, 2011

    […] doctor’s office.  My visit, I’m not worried about.  I wasn’t able to get my Quad Screen done because there was no order for it for the nurses to give me – I’m a little […]

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