What is a First Trimester Screening?

First Trimester Screening is a safe, simple and non-invasive test that can assess a mother's risk for having a baby with Down syndrome (Trisomy 21), Trisomy 18 and Trisomy 13 during the first trimester of her pregnancy. The test is performed between 11 and 14 weeks gestation.

A First Trimester Screen consists of 2 parts: an ultrasound, and a finger stick in which a small amount of blood is obtained on a blood spot card. The blood spot card is then sent to a lab that combines the blood data with the fetal measurements from the ultrasound to determine the risk of that fetus for having Down syndrome (Trisomy 21), Trisomy 18, and Trisomy 13. Combining the information from the blood and the ultrasound yields the most sensitive screening results possible at the earliest point during a woman's pregnancy.

Why should I consider this screening?

Many factors lead a pregnant mother to be tested for Down syndrome, Trisomy 18, and Trisomy 13.  Pregnancy can be a stressful time and the First Trimester Screening test can provide early reassurance for a majority of the patients tested.

Most patients who undergo this test are found to be at low risk for fetal Down syndrome. For the patients that receive a high risk result, further testing can be performed at the Maternal Fetal Medicine clinic and the patient can receive immediate counseling regarding follow up options. In all cases the patient is given peace of mind and planning options for the future.

Why should I choose EIRMC for my First Trimester Screening?

Obstetrix of the Mountain StatesLuanna Beauchamp, MD, has the area's only perinatology service. They sees a large volume of patients requesting First Trimester Screenings each year. EIRMC's sonographers are among a select few technicians in Eastern Idaho certified to do First Trimester Nuchal Translucency Screenings.

These tests are important to give patients peace of mind and understanding at an early stage in their pregnancy. The earlier parents know, the better they can plan for them and their baby.

For additional questions regarding the First Trimester Screening please contact Obstetrix of the Mountain States, the regions only provider of perinatology services, at (208) 528-2925. They will be happy to answer any questions you have.