Mr Clive Aldrich

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Nuchal Translucency Screening -
What Is Nuchal Translucency Screening?

A modern, non-invasive test for Down´s Syndrome in unborn babies, nuchal translucency screening uses ultrasound to detect affected babies.

How Does Nuchal Translucency Screening Work?
During the baby´s development in the womb, fluid naturally collects in the skin at the base of a baby´s neck, known at the nuchal fold. The larger this collection of fluids, the higher the probability of the child having Down´s syndrome, but the test cannot show conclusively if a baby does or does not have Down´s.

What Are the Advantages?
Nuchal ultrasound examination does not harm your baby in any way. Furthermore, nuchal screening offers other advantages such as:
  • Accurate pregnancy dating
  • Detection of early pregnancy failures
  • Early diagnosis of multiple pregnancy
  • Early diagnosis of significant fetal abnomalities
How Is The Risk Calculated?
Your score is calculated by combining your age, the nuchal measurement and the level of certain hormones in your blood. By combining hormonal blood testing with the nuchal screening, a higher rate of detection can be achieved, greater than 90%. A score of more that 1:300 is deemed high risk, but this actually means that the baby has a 0.3% chance of having Down´s, and therefore a 99.7% chance that it does not.

When Is The Best Time For The Test?
The optimum time for nuchal screening is between the 11th and 14th weeks of your pregnancy.

What Is Down´s Syndrome?
Down´s syndrome is the result of a genetic fault at the time of conception, with the result that Down´s syndrome babies have an extra chromosome in their cells. The presence of this extra chromosome (number 21) causes various degrees of disability, including distinctive ‘heavy’ physical features and severe learning difficulties.

Nasal Bone Screening for Down's Syndrome
Mr Aldrich also offers nasal bone screening for Down's Syndrome. In unborn babies, the lack of nasal (nose) bone development can be an indicator of possible Down's Syndrome.

This simple test uses ultrasound to examine the fetal nasal bone at 11-14 weeks of gestation. The first trials of this new modern test suggested that up to 73% of Down's syndrome fetuses had no nasal bone, against 0.5% of fetuses with no chromasome defects.

What happens if I am at high-risk?
Following your results you will be counselled by Mr Aldrich and if you wish to proceed with an invasive test, such as a CVS or amniocentesis, in order to establish whether or not the baby was affected, he can perform this for you.

Naturally, you will be carefully monitored and fully counselled on the implications of the test results.

For full details and to make an appointment, please contact Mr Aldrich at the Northampton Antenatal Screening Service on 01604 842293

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