The first trimester is a very vulnerable stage during your pregnancy. While it can be very exciting, the overwhelming symptoms of nausea, vomiting, extreme fatigue, breast tenderness and, occasionally, some bleeding can all be overwhelming. Although your belly does not seem to be growing very much during this trimester there are thousands of things going on with your developing baby. With today’s technology we are able to offer first trimester testing that can tell you the sex of your baby as well as the likelihood of your baby having Down’s Syndrome or Trisomy 18.
The “Early Screen” is offered to patients between 10-13 weeks gestation. This is often done in combination with a fetal ultrasound and a finger stick. The information provided in this test was frequently not available until 16 weeks gestation previously. This test is able to detect an estimated 84% of Down Syndrome babies and up to 75% of those with Trisomy 18. Should your testing show up positive for an increased risk, more invasive testing can be offered in the form of chorionic villus sampling.