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Readers Respond: How did you feel about your AFP test?

Responses: 140


Updated April 16, 2009

Positive for AFP

My test results came back positive for open tubal neural defects. First blood test came back at an AFP of 2.82 they informed me that the cut off for no defects was 2.5. They gave me a sonogram and they said everything looked good, no fluid on the brain and his spine looked good too. They took blood again and the test came back positive again, but this time with a lowered AFP of 2.57. I have another sonogram scheduled for this Thursday, but I am ready to have a nervous breakdown! I keep reading about all of these false positives and I hope that I have that. I am keeping my fingers crossed. I am 31 years old and am 19 weeks pregnant.

Did not expect to hear test results

Went to doctor today, she told me that test was positive and need a level II ultrasound done. Hopefully it is a false positive due to the fact that I have 3 other healthy children now. My sister and a friend of mine also had positive results and nothing was wrong when they had a level II ultrasound done. I think they need to do better testing for these abnormalties instead of getting a mother worried for nothing. There is too many false positives that come up with this testing.
—Guest Shannon

Test is too stressful and inaccurate

I had my test done at 18 weeks. I got a call from my doctors office with a positive result, but they did have the actual ratio number. I was upset and cried, but was bothered that they didn't have the actual results. I demanded them and scheduled a same day ultrasound. They called back with ration, 1:112 (whereas a negative for my age group is 1:176 for 32 years of age). Ultrasound looked fine, and now I have just had another ultrasound (the route 20 week) and also looked fine. But the doctor encouraged me to get amnio even though everything looks good. It is all very confusing and worrisome. I pray everything is okay with my baby girl. I am not willing to get an amnio due the risk factor of miscarriage. I don't know what the answer is, to do the test or not; but I would say take it with a grain of salt and do not worry too much.
—Guest Shannon M

Worried sick...

Received notice today that the test was positive and I am waiting for a call from one of two hospitals to schedule an amnio, we live in a northern community with a minimum of 6 hours travel to get this type of testing. I did not hesitate on the amnio, we have to know, however we understand the associated risks. I agree with the other Mom's out there, this is hell for my husband and I. Especially the waiting game, knowing it could be a month before we know for sure...we are doing what we can do be positive. I would do the test again, I would rather know now. To all you Mom and Dad's out there waiting for your results, for what it's worth my thought and prayers are with you.
—Guest Dee

Spare me

I'm 33yrs old this is my 5th never took the test before my OB sent me for regular testing. This AFP test was one I took along to get my blood work done but I knew I wanted it done before my ultrasound, my ultrasound was fine, but I received a called from my OB that I had a abnormal reading 1:70%. Who or what do I believe now?
—Guest nikki


I did this as a research assignment in college for business statistics class. This test only has a 81% accuracy rate. I believe that expectant mothers should be told of this BEFORE they do this test. Therefore you now have 19% of expectant mothers in the US stressing for no reason, keep in mind that high blood pressure, lack of sleep, and not eating right, could do more harm on the fetus since the mother more than likely be under a high level of stress due to this test. I am 16 weeks and my test came back inconclusive, I have declined additional testing but will go for an additional ultrasound and flat out told the doctor don't even mention amnio. Hope this puts any worries at ease.
—Guest Shannon

False negative

I had the triple screen with my 3rd child. The test came back normal and the day after she was born we were told she has Downs. My OB didn't say anything at delivery because the features are so mild on her and my results were normal.
—Guest Barb

Abnormal Test

I got a call from the nurse in my OB's office say the test was abnormal. She didn't say high or low, she just said I needed to get in for an ultra sound right away. I cried all day yesterday and my 2 year old was really worried about me... I feel better having read all the other comments...cross our fingers for me.
—Guest mama mcmurray

AFP test-triple

I have done this test during 13th week of my pregnancy. The possibility of down syndrome was 1:14 (N.t. was 3.8 mm), but after amino test and 2 weeks waiting for an answer, it was said that it your baby is not defected by down syndrome, but they want to repeat during the next week to make us sure of the result. and now I am waiting for the next answer.
—Guest sara

Wishing I hadn't taken it.

I opted out for my first pregnancy - I was 34 and just felt that everything was fine. It was and my daughter was born healthy. This time around I am 36, and so my doctor suggested I take the test (they usually test here after 35.) I agreed because I don't have the same feeling of internal confidence with this pregnancy. The nuchal ultrasound looked fine, but they found something in my blood work (I was not told what) and my doctor scheduled me for an amnio BEFORE she even called me with the results. I have a 1/47 chance apparently, so I will do the amnio, but I *really* wish that my doctor had taken the time to explain the whole procedure to me earlier. I have the amnio in a week and half, and really have no idea what to expect. This last week has been pretty stressful, mostly due to lack of information given by my doctor. I don't plan on another child, but if it happens I would definitely think thrice before taking this screening again.
—Guest mira'smama

AFP came back postive: IT WAS WRONG!

I took my test 22 years ago when it was first introduced to the U.S. It caused more stress to my young marriage and to my baby. I was carrying twins and had lost one week’s before. I delivered a 9 pound 3 ounce health baby boy. My daughter now has had the same test result with this AFP and now she is going through the same stress as I once went through. This test should not be allowed in the U.S.
—Guest Lisa


I never had the chance for my AFP in my first pregnancy before they told us something was wrong, I was scheduled to it done that day. I wish I had done it earlier, and had more time to process what was happening. I definitely think you should have it done, regardless of the false positives. Its better to know early and be able to do your research and know your choices. The amnio isn't that bad, and its a positive way to find out for sure if anything is wrong. You don't want to go through your whole pregnancy thinking everything is okay, just to find its not, and that the problem is something that could have been correct or the doctor could have been prepared for had you had the test done. You want to be able to give your baby the best chance possible, and having whatever tests offered to you done, you are. By sticking your head in the sand and living in a cloud, you're making bad choices.
—Guest Courtney

Worried Mom

I had the screening test done and the results came back as positive....and of course like most women began to instantly think the worst. Since the screening I have had a Level II ultrasound done but I will not know exactly how the baby is until my baby is born.
—Guest joann

AFP test results

My AFP tested positive for Down Syndrome. This is my first child and I am only 21 so I'm hoping the amnio comes back negative!
—Guest Tawny rhea

I had a positive on a Twin pregnancy

I had a triple screen done on my first pregnancy - I was having twins and the test came back positive for Spina Bifida, I was told because of twins it was high, but, one of the twins had Spina Bifida Occulta, a closed neural tube defect. My son is beautiful and can do everything, just has to be careful he does not get hit in the back-no karate or football.
—Guest Kathleen

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