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Multiple Marker Screen

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MULTIPLE MARKER SCREEN DEFINITION

A multiple marker screen is a type of blood test done in pregnant women on their 15th to 20th week of pregnancy. It is called a multiple marker because it is used to measure different properties that are being produced by the placenta and the fetus itself.

MULTIPLE MARKER SCREEN PURPOSE

A multiple marker screen is done to help eliminate any possibility of birth defects or genetic abnormalities in unborn children. It helps to measure your child’s risk factor for developing spina bifida or Down syndrome.

MULTIPLE MARKER SCREEN RISKS

There are no risks for taking a multiple marker screen. But like any other blood tests, it may expose you to a possibility of infection and bleeding.

MULTIPLE MARKER SCREEN PREPARATION REQUIRED

Before a multiple marker screen, you must talk to your doctor about certain factors that may affect your results. Your age, weight, race, and medical condition will be pondered upon. You will also be asked about diabetes and whether or not you are having multiples. Your child’s gestational age will also be considered. The multiple marker test is best done on your 16th to 18th week, when your hormone levels are most consistent.
MULTIPLE MARKER SCREEN
Image: MULTIPLE MARKER SCREEN

MULTIPLE MARKER SCREEN PROCEDURE

Like with any blood test, your blood sample is needed for the multiple marker screen. A blood sample will be drawn from a vein in your arm and will be submitted to the laboratory for examination. It measures three substances that either your placenta or fetus or both produce.

MULTIPLE MARKER SCREEN COMPLICATIONS

There are no known complications of such a blood test. Then again, since a needle will be injected in your arm to draw blood sample, a risk of infection cannot be completely eliminated.

MULTIPLE MARKER SCREEN SIDE EFFECTS

There are no side effects to having the multiple marker screen. You may feel a minor discomfort or throbbing in the part of your arm where the blood sample is taken but other than that, everything will be fine.

MULTIPLE MARKER SCREEN RESULTS

A positive result for the multiple marker test does not automatically mean that your unborn child will have birth defects or genetic abnormalities once delivered. However, it is a good marker that your child can potentially come out with abnormalities. What your doctor will do is to order further testing to ensure what your and your baby’s chances are.
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