Upon conception, there are tests you can undergo to detect or determine medical conditions that may be subjects of concern. These conditions include yours and your baby’s.
Here we are going to talk about one of the tests that can warn you of the things you’d have to face down the road—the OSCAR Test.
What is OSCAR Test?
It is a combination of a blood test and nuchal translucency which aims to examine the thickness of the fetus’ neck.
What happens during an OSCAR screening test?
First there will be an interview. A series of questions will be asked. Your answers will be included in the risk calculation of the results.
Questions will pertain to your
- number of births
- smoking habits, if any
- way of conception
- health condition
- previous births
As for the first two, they’re risk factors because the older the mother is, the higher the risk will be for the syndromes mentioned earlier. The number of births will also help the healthcare professional determine the risk for anomalies.
Smoking habits are also a big factor because babies whose mothers smoke before or during pregnancy have a higher chance of developing health conditions.
You will also be asked about your overall health conditions. If you have a history of Down, Edwards, or Patau syndromes, congenital diseases, etc. Previous births can also affect the results. For instance, if you’ve given birth to a child who has birth anomalies, it can affect the results.
Next, a blood sample will be taken from you. The levels and state of your pregnancy hormones will be measured. They will detect a possibility of deviation.
And finally, an ultrasound, called the nuchal translucency, will be conducted to take a look at the anatomic structures of your baby.
How accurate is OSCAR Test?
One important thing you need to put in mind is that the results you get from the OSCAR test are not diagnostic. If you’re high risk, there’s still a chance that your baby might not have fetal anomalies. That’s why further screenings are important. The rate of false positive for Down Syndrome using this test is at 5%.
Why do women take this screening?
Among the advantages of the OSCAR test is it’s fast, conducted early, convenient, and secure. You don’t have to undergo a dangerous process. It can be conducted around 11 to 14 weeks of pregnancy.
After getting the results, what then?
If your results tell you that you’re facing a high risk of having a baby with a fetal anomaly, you will be encouraged to undergo further, more accurate screening like the Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing or NIPT.
Is OSCAR test necessary?
No, it’s not.
There is little comfort in knowing that your baby may suffer from a medical condition that will surely make their life more difficult that others. However, this is a good way to prepare yourself. Questions such as how you’d face it will be tackled and in such situations, I personally think being ready is much better than not knowing.