Rather than simply relying on age, St. James hospital in Leeds has come up with a three part non invasive test that supposedly shows with 90 per cent accuracy the likelihood of having a baby with Down’s Syndrome.

It examines AFP, unconjugated oestriol (oestrogen) and human chorionic gonadotrophin (the hormone that maintains the pregnancy) and claims a 90 per cent success rate. That’s about as good as the AFP test, which as we know only causes more anxiety and more invasive diagnostic techniques. What’s likely to occur in this initial rush of enthusiasm is that the test will be given mostly to younger women, rather than those over 35, and so the number of women then referred on for amniocentesis will only go up.

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Written by What Doctors Don't Tell You

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