The first Trimester scan helps you and your partner decide whether the chances that your baby may have a chromosomal issue is high enough to warrant having an invasive test, such as CVS or amnio.

The FTS test includes:
  • Nuchal Translucency (amount of fluid behind the neck of the fetus on ultrasound).
  • Presence or absence of any physical abnormalities on ultrasound.
  • Level of two proteins (free beta hCG & PAPP-A) in your blood.
  • Accurate dating of the pregnancy.
  • Fetal heart rate.
  • Number of fetuses present and, if twins, whether they are identical or not.
  • Detects any fetal abnormalities.

By combining this information, the FTS test can identify about 9 out of 10 pregnancies (90%) in which the baby has certain genetic conditions. This is more accurate than either the ultrasound part or the blood part of the test done on their own.

Since the blood test for the protein levels is done in our unit, your results will be available immediately. The chances of any syndrome will then be discussed with you.

Only you can decide if you wish to have an invasive diagnostic test based on this risk. If the thickness of the back of the baby’s neck is quite big other problems may be present.

It is important to remember that a screening test does not guarantee a normal baby. Therefore you should carefully compare the advantages and disadvantages of a screening test (like FTS) compared with a diagnostic test (like CVS).

First Trimester Scan Prof. Fergal Malone

First Trimester Scan 3D Prof. Fergal Malone