Given the high false positive rate I'm on the fence about whether or not to get the triple screen done - Pros? Cons? Thanks!

asked 15 Sep '09, 23:36

Becki's gravatar image

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Are you referring to the IPS testing (integrated prenatal screening)? 1st part is ultrasound, 2nd part blood test done the same day, 3rd part second blood test done a few weeks later...

I had it done with this pregnancy and with my 2nd child. Both times the results were negative. It wasn't offered when I was pregnant with my 1st child. Everyone will have a different opinion but my Dr told me that you need to think about what you would do with the results. Would you follow-up with further testing? Would you consider ending the pregnancy if the results showed a problem? I've heard some people say they'd like to know ahead of time to prepare themselves if there is a chance for a problem. Could you handle the stress of waiting and wondering?

Sorry not a clear answer I know...Good luck whatever you decide.


answered 16 Sep '09, 17:33

MinJSD's gravatar image

accept rate: 16%


I believe Becki is referring to the Triple M (I think that is the term), which is just a blood test without an ultrasound and tests for DS, Trisomy 18, and neural tube defect markers. Although the issues are similar. The triple screen provides ratios, as opposed to negative/positive. However, having not had the IPS testing I don't know whether or not it provides ratios or negative/positive results.

(16 Sep '09, 20:25) Tammy ♦♦

I had the IPS screening done with my baby and the results showed negative for D.S., but high risk for neural tube deficits. The doctors stressed that having a positive result doesn't mean that there actually is a problem. Due to the results, I was more closely monitored, had a couple extra ultrasounds done, etc. They couldn't see any reason for the concern through ultrasounds and suggested that it may have been something hormonal which would potentially affect the placenta's health, babies growth and so on. Although my husband and I tried to take it with a grain of salt, it did add extra stress, wondering if the baby was okay. He was born healthy as a horse, with not a thing wrong with him. He's now four months old and thriving.
My husband and I likely won't do the testing again with future children.


answered 16 Sep '09, 19:18

Becky's gravatar image

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For us, we couldn't stand the stress of the suspense of not knowing so we had it done. Our reasoning was that we would want to know of any problems so that we could research them ahead of time instead of just being surprised when the baby came out. Neither of us like surprises and we would definitely have it done the next time we get pregnant.


answered 16 Sep '09, 19:26

Travis's gravatar image

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We had a similar experience and were relieved with the results.

(16 Sep '09, 20:28) Tammy ♦♦

We had the test done and while we had a positive result it just meant that our child was at a higher risk, it DID NOT mean that he was going to be born with a defect. We went through several ultrasounds later to make sure everything was ok and we had an amnio test. Everything came out ok but it was a very stressful time for us and we were afraid to get excited about the pregnancy. Our son was born at full-term, happy and healthy. He is now 16 months and just a joy to be with.

While it was stressful we wanted to know ahead of time. And if we have another child we will have the test done again. We wanted to be prepared if our child had a disability. It wasn't about terminating the pregnancy but providing the best care possible. We wanted to know what other health risks are involved. We learned that many children born with DS also have heart problems so we wanted to make sure he didn't have a heart defect that would need to be addressed right after birth. We also wanted to know what our options were for daycare, for a health provider, for financial assistance, etc.

I was nervous enough about becoming a mother but I know lots of other mothers I could ask questions. I didn't know anyone with a child who had special needs. So we wanted to know ahead of time to better prepare ourselves and our family for what lie ahead.


answered 18 Sep '09, 13:08

superstarBJR's gravatar image

accept rate: 6%

I guess the biggest question in our mind when it came to getting screening or not was - will the test results change anything for us - i.e., would we choose to end the pregnancy if the test came back positive? For us, the answer was no, it wouldn't change a thing either way, so we didn't bother getting screened.

I can understand the perspective of people who "just want to know" so they can be prepared, but the false-positive rate on these tests is relatively high, and that just seems like a lot of worrying and preparing for something that may never come.


answered 18 Sep '09, 15:29

Brandon's gravatar image

accept rate: 2%

We did not get it done because of the high false positive rate. Our doctor told us the facts and decided that we did not want to do it.


answered 17 Sep '09, 20:25

Betsy's gravatar image

accept rate: 2%

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Asked: 15 Sep '09, 23:36

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Last updated: 18 Sep '09, 15:29