At my last doctor appointment I had blood drawn for the "Triple Screen Test". (Below I have put what the Triple Screen Test looks for.) I have been a tiny bit stressed out about it ever since. I guess everyone is worried that there could be something wrong with their baby before it's born, so that's normal. This morning I checked my voicemail and I had missed a call from my doctor saying that she had the results from my test. I was scared to call in! But I called and everything came back normal. The babe is healthy and developing perfectly. What a relief! $60 well spent. :)
What does the triple screen test look for?
The triple screen is measuring high and low levels of AFP and abnormal levels of hCG and estriol. The results are combined with the mother's age, weight, ethnicity and gestation of pregnancy in order to assess probabilities of potential genetic disorders.
High levels of AFP may suggest that the developing baby has a neural tube defect such as spina bifida or anencephaly. However, the most common reason for elevated AFP levels is inaccurate dating of the pregnancy.
Low levels of AFP and abnormal levels of hCG and estriol may indicate that the developing baby has Trisomy 21( Down syndrome), Trisomy 18 (Edwards Syndrome) or another type of chromosome abnormality.
Although the primary reason for conducting the test is to screen for genetic disorders, the results of the triple screen can also be used to identify:
-A multiples pregnancy
-Pregnancies that are more or less advanced than thought