With the combination test, the chance of a chromosomal abnormality in your baby is calculated. Down syndrome is the most common chromosome disorder, but Patau and Edward syndrome are also checked. The combination test consists of a blood test between 9 and 14 weeks of pregnancy and a neck fold measurement by means of an ultrasound test between 11 and 14 weeks of pregnancy. You can decide for yourself whether or not you want to have this test done and you will receive information in advance to come to a right decision.
Neck fold measurement
The neck fold is a thin fluid bubble under the skin of the neck that every unborn baby has. The neck fold is most clearly seen between 11 and 14 weeks, which is why the measurement is done during this period. During an echo, the thickness of the neck fold is measured. The thicker the neck fold, the more chance of a deviation. Incidentally, it is good to know that more than half of the babies with a thickened neck fold find no abnormality.
The blood test looks at the concentration of two specific pregnancy hormones. The concentration of these hormones is precisely increased or decreased in the case of a disorder, depending on the type of disorder. The blood test is preferably performed before the neck fold measurement.
Result combination test
The advantage of the combination test is that you can be reassured about your baby’s health, a disadvantage is that you may need more research to rule out abnormalities based on the result. That can be a difficult choice. The results of the blood test and the neck fold measurement in combination with your age and the exact duration of your pregnancy determine the likelihood of having a child with one of the three syndromes. After the examination you do not know for sure whether or not he has a syndrome, you only know the chance. If the risk is not increased at birth, it will sometimes appear that your baby has this condition.
Conversely, an increased chance does not always mean that your child actually has the condition. In the USA, an increased chance is a chance of one in 200 or higher at the time of the test. A 1: 200 chance means that of every 200 pregnant women, one woman is pregnant with a child with Down’s syndrome. An increased probability is not the same as a high or high probability. Even with an increased chance, the chance that your child does not have Down syndrome is greater than the chance that your child does. This means that most women with an increased risk will nevertheless have a child without Down’s syndrome.
A follow-up examination can be used to determine with certainty whether your child has Down, Patau or Edward’s syndrome. This is possible with a flake test between 11 and 14 weeks of pregnancy or an amniotic puncture after 15 weeks of pregnancy. However, consider carefully whether you want these follow-up examinations to be carried out and what you will do with the results of the examinations. An alternative to the combination test is NIPT. NIPT is a blood test that, like the combination test, calculates the chance of having a child with Down, Patau or Edward syndrome. The NIPT can be performed from 11 weeks of pregnancy and provides more reliable results than the combination test.
Combination test costs
You pay for the combination test yourself. This also applies to pregnant women aged 36 and over. Request the current price from your midwifery practice. In some cases, supplementary insurance.