What is a First Trimester Screening?
First trimester screening, also called the first trimester combined test, are done between 11 weeks +2 days and 13 weeks +3 days of pregnancy. This screening is to evaluate your risk of carrying a baby with Down syndrome and requires a two step process.
1. A blood test to measure levels of two pregnancy specific substances: beta human chorionic gonadotropin (beta-hCG) and pregnancy-associated plasma protein A (PAPP-A). Beta-hCG is a hormone made by the placenta, where high or low levels may be related Down syndrome, Trisomy 13 or Trisomy 18.
2. An ultrasound used to measure the thickness of the area at the back of the baby's neck. The thickness of the baby's neck can indicate early signs of down syndrome.
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