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

Responses: 140


Updated April 16, 2009

The triple screen, quad screen or penta screen AFP testing is done between the 15th and 17th week of pregnancy. It can be used to screen for genetic problems like Down Syndrome, Spina Bifida and Anenecephaly. There are many false positives, which can cause worry beyond belief and lead to unnecessary intervention like amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling (CVS).


Just rec'd AFP results showing at risk for neural tube defects 1/71 chance. I am going to complete a high resolution ultrasound on Tues, if results are good, I will not move further with the amnio. If results are suspicious, I will get the amnio. My first child has severe asthma and my second child has a high functioning autism. Third child is completely healthy to this point. We were looking forward to our last child and the risk of a potential life threatening problem really stinks!! Getting the call at work on a friday morning was horrible. Having to go through the weekend and wait til tues is horrible and may still not provide resolution. For women that did not get the amnio......were you constantly thinking and wondering about the baby? If you had a chance to do it again, would you?
—Guest Christie mother of 3

Slightly elevated? thats a result

I had all the blood work just got my quad screen last week at 18 weeks not even thinking twice that it would come back positive because i was so healthy 25 and everything up to that point was so normal. The mid wife called with the results saying that they were "slightly elevated without stating ratio and saying that i was in the lowest percentile for down syndrome but i would be recieving a call from a hospital within the week. Here i thought my biggest problem was figuring out if i have a boy or girl..to now ensuring that my baby is healthy and that we are prepared either way.The amino testing scares me as well if i were to find out my baby was ok only to be the 1/200 to miscarry because i needed to know. but im hopeful that the ultrasound will come back with good results and all this was a "false positive" and at least make us realize how much this baby means to both of us. Ill be praying every night either way all i care is this baby gets to live. Ill update yall good luck ladies
—Guest worried but optimistic

Very worried

I am 16 weeks pregnant and got the call yesterday that my test came back that my baby has a 1/180 risk of having spina bifda. I go tuesday for the genetic counseling and level II ultrasound, but I am so scared. I had two m/c's prior and I'm so worried that something is wrong! Has anyone gone thru this and test come out normal!
—Guest Nicole

I wish I had not taken the test

I didnt know much about this test so I did not even think twice about it... what a surprise when they called me and told me I have a 1 in 35 chance of having a baby with DS... I can explain to you how horrible that feels... right now I just have to wait a few more weeks until I can have an amnio and pray that everything is going to be fine. If I ever get pregnant again I WONT do this test...
—Guest Caty

Freaking out

I have a 4d ultrasound on the 12th because they said my child is at risk for DS....totally freaking out. Can't stop crying...why do they have to tell you this kind of stuff when they know you won't find out for a whole other week?
—Guest KellyPhillips

Not quite sure what to expect...

I am 41. I have had 3 successful pregnancies, one abortion, and one miscarriage. I am now pregnant with my 5th child. I've never had any complications during pregnancy, except for high blood pressure with my last live birth in 2009. I took my AFP test 2 weeks ago and I received a call from my doctors office today asking me to come in tom. I don't know what to do or think at this time. I had this test with all my pregnancies, but this is the 1st time I have ever been called into the office I really don't even know if that is what they are calling about, but it's all I can think of. I am just praying that I can deliver a healthy baby. This is my last one and my husband and I both have feeling of this being the boy that we both want so badly. I'll just stay positive and hopeful!
—Guest Mother of 4

Just my opinion :)

It's unbelievable to me that this test is as unreliable in 2012 as it was in 1994, when I had my youngest son. My daughter in law had this test after she had the ultrasound, in which the neck measurement was completely normal. She is 38, and her AFP test came back as her baby having a 1/68 chance of having Downs Syndrome. She has had the CVS done and results should be back in the next week. Both she and my son are worried sick, and they don't even want to talk about the baby. I too had an abnormal AFP test when I was 33 and pregnant with my youngest son. I had an amnio done, and worried constantly for 3 weeks until the results came back. My son was normal, but I think if I had it to do over again I would not have had the AFP test done. There seems to be such a high rate of false positives, and the stress of waiting for the amnio results is unbelievable. It's shocking to me that in the 18 years since I had the test they haven't improved or refined it any.
—Guest Grandma


Just received my quad screening results and tested positive for Trisomy 18. My boyfriend and I are scared to death! I am 39 and this will be my last pregnancy, we are hoping for a false-positive! I receive a level 2 ultrasound next week, please send prayers!
—Guest Colleen

Positive afp

I got pregnant at 16 and at 4 weeks my afp testing came back positive..i was worried to death but they did tell me it could be false but at my ultrasound I found out I was having a boy and that he had gastroschisis.I stayed strong and prepared myself and my son was a fighter and left the nicu at 2 months healthy as ever,you wouldnt even know if you saw him today!My advice to all of you moms, stay positive and love your child regaurdless!!
—Guest Stay positive!

CVS done yesterday.

My blood results come back that I have 1/100 risk of having a baby with DS, I am 14 weeks now and I found out this information last week. It's been a terrible week and a half. I had a CVS yesterday and my results are due tomorrow so fingers cross it all comes back fine. I read up a lot about CVS and yes I was scared to have it done but my God nothing scares me more then not knowing what could be wrong with my baby. The ladies out there who are scared to get CVS done don't be it wasn't really that bad and discomfort was nothing.
—Guest Donna


I'm in the medical field, but since it's my first pregnancy (I'm 33), I decided to go for the quad test. I requested my results and had a 2nd ultrasound done the same day. The results came back resounding negative for DS, NTD, Trisomy 18 but I just received a call (day after I had my ultrasound) and there is an abnormality on my U/S...which could be a sign of one of the trisomy syndromes..GAH! It's extremely frustrating, going for a level 2 U/S next week. If I'm having a hard time sorting this out with my background... darn it, I feel for those who have to just rely on their OB! I'm hoping my little boy is all healthy, but either way, he's my sweetpea no matter what. But I'd like to be prepared. I won't probably have the AFP done next time around.
—Guest Anna

Quad test=stress

I'm 20 years old and pregnant with my first child. I too took the quad test an got an abnormal test result. My risk was 1:197 it was no help that my doctor didn't do her job to inform me that the test has a lot of false positive I was worried sick for months! A week ago I had a level 2 ultrasound which showed no signs of down syndrome I refused the amnio because I'm going to love my baby regardless....next go around I know I will never take the test again. Just waiting for my baby girl to arrive May 1st
—Guest Mommy 2 be 20

Spina Bifida

I have spina bifida occulta and unlike some of the other moms with SBO who have posted, I have all of the problems associated with spina bifida and then some (tethered and split distal cord, disc degeneration, arthritis, stenosis, etc...). I NEEDED to know if my baby was going to have any neural tube defects. I have pain on a daily basis that most people could never imagine - I had to know if that was something we needed to prepare for with our child. Thank goodness, the AFP came back with no open neural tube defects detected. Of course I would not have aborted my baby if there was something wrong, but I felt that in order to be the best mother I could be I needed to know what we were up against. And if the news was bad, I needed to be able to do my grieving now so that I could be fully present, prepared and level headed when our little angel greets the world. Those were my reasons for doing the tests. Some people don't want to know, and that's okay too.
—Guest Katie

2 positive results

I had the quad screen done at 16 weeks. I found out it came back positive for trisomy18 and SLOS. I'm freaked out. I have level 2 us this Friday. I pray they are false positives!
—Guest scaredmomma

I don't know what to do

I'm 24 years old and have two beautiful children who are both healthy. I'm now due for my third child. My doc asked if I wanted the DS blood work done and I said yes I got it both times before so didn't think anything different about it. I got a call today well at work that I was at high risk of the baby having DS. I'm so scared I don't know what to do. I have to go see my doc tomorrow and talk things over with him, I know the blood work could always be wrong but what if it is not?
—Guest Tiffany

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