01 First Trimester Screen
A common concern of parents-to-be is whether the unborn child is affected by chromosomal or birth defects. Birth defects occur in around 3% of babies and chromosomal defects are present in 0.5% of pregnancies. The chance of a pregnancy carrying certain types of chromosomal or genetic defects can be assessed as early as the first trimester. Current options include First trimester screening (FTS, also known as One-Stop Clinic for Assessment of Risk, OSCAR) test. This is a non-invasive test, comprising of a maternal blood test and a fetal scan. The resulting risk score will allow the parents-to-be and the obstetrician to plan ahead for the outcome of the pregnancy. All expectant mothers are encouraged to have the test done, regardless of age.
Non-invasive pre-natal testing (NIPT) is also a non-invasive blood test, looking at cell-free fetal DNA in the maternal blood. It is usually recommended if the OSCAR is of intermediate or high risk, and can be done from 10 weeks of gestation.