Screening for Down’s, Edward’s & Patau’s syndromes

Please read the screening tests for you and your baby information leaflet carefully before you make a decision on having this test and discuss anything you are not sure about with your midwife.

Understanding your result

Whichever of these tests you have chosen, you will be either given a higher risk or a lower risk result for Down’s  syndrome and/or Edwards & Patau’s syndrome.

  • A lower risk result (less than 1:150) means that you are less likely to have a baby born with one of the conditions but does not mean that there is no risk at all.
  • A higher risk result puts you at an increased risk but does not mean that your baby is affected with one of the conditions.

On rare occasions we may not be able to provide you with a risk result, this will be discussed with you by a midwife at the hospital if this occurs.

If your screening test shows a higher risk result, a midwife at the hospital will contact you to discuss this with you, and arrange an appointment for you.

At this appointment/telephone consultation you will be offered a diagnostic test to find out for certain whether your baby has any of the three conditions.

There are two types of diagnostic test that will be discussed with you. Both involve the insertion of a needle through your abdomen to take a sample of either tissue from the placenta or fluid from around your baby.

Screening tests for you and your baby

The cells collected are tested for Down’s, Edwards & Patau’s syndromes. The test carries around a 1% risk of miscarriage and it is your choice whether or not to have this test done.

Following your discussion if you need help or more information to make a decision please refer to the screening tests for you and your baby booklet and/or visit: