Pregnancy is, possibly, the most incredible phase of a woman’s life. But with inexplicable happiness, it also brings endless doubts and dilemmas and the most horrifying thing is to think of any abnormality linked with the unborn baby. In earlier days, there was no way to look for abnormalities in unborn babies. However, with so much advancement in technology today, certain screening tests performed during initial weeks of pregnancy help the doctors to rule out few birth defects, Triple Marker Profile test being one of them.
How important is Triple Marker?
Triple Marker Test also known as ‘Triple Screen Test’, ‘Multiple Marker Test’, ‘Triple Test’, ‘AFP Plus’ and ‘Multiple Marker Screening’, is a maternal test which helps in analyzing the possibility of certain genetic disorders like Down’s Syndrome and Edward’s Syndrome, in the unborn baby. This test is used to examine the three crucial substances of placenta:Alpha-Fetoprotein (AFP), Estriol, and Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG)
Since this test is suggested by the doctors in early weeks of the pregnancy, it is useful to indicate potential complications related to pregnancy and prepare the parents for birth. The test is also used to indicate multiple pregnancy and pregnancy that are either less or more advanced than normal.
The Triple Screen Test is generally performed at 15 to 20 weeks of pregnancy but the results obtained between 16th to 18th weeks are known to be the most accurate ones.
Who should undergo the Triple Test?
Ideally, every pregnant woman should take the test but those with the following conditions must make sure not to miss the triple test during pregnancy:
- Who have a family history of birth disorders
- Who are 35 years old or above
- Who have undertaken any harmful drug or medication during pregnancy
- Who are diabetic and using insulin
- Who suffered from viral infection during their pregnancy
- Who have been exposed to high radiations
What does the result mean?
The Gynaecologist is the best person to say what the results mean but the Triple Marker Test normal values can indicate about likelihood of a baby to be born with a disorder like Spina Bifida or Down’s syndrome. Since these values are only indicative so doctors consider several others factors too to understand what may have affected the values. These factors include: Weight, Age and Ethnicity of the motherStage of the pregnancy if she is diabetic Whether or not she has a multiple pregnancy
Doctors, generally, do not conclude by merely looking at the triple screen blood test results and so may ask to perform some additional tests and investigations.
Where to go for the triple marker blood test?
You can find your nearest lab for getting the test done. You can also book Triple Marker Profile test online and the person can come to your doorstep to collect your blood sample. You will get the reports on your mail or you can choose to collect them from the lab.
What to do if results are negative
While abnormal values might be a matter of concern, they do not necessarily mean that something is wrong for sure. However, negative results call for an action to be taken by the parents. Parents may choose to go for further investigation and monitoring such as an amniocentesis test. This test helps in detecting fetal infections and genetic conditions. Doctor may also order for a detailed Ultrasound scan to examine spine and fetal skull for the neural tube disorders. Ultrasounds are also helpful in determining the number of fetus and the fetal age.
The test results are only indicative and do not confirm a disorder, additional tests are needed to confirm. Therefore, if you or someone whom you know is pregnant then triple screen test is not the one to be missed. If you are in between 15th to 20th week of pregnancy, then you can book a lab test online and move towards a stress-free pregnancy.