Why Is A Double Marker Test Done In Pregnancy?

Double marker test

Congratulations if you are pregnant! You will be soon inviting a new member to the family that you have created. It is exciting and overwhelming news. You might already have started planning on the different aspects of pregnancy. Well, have you visited your doctor yet? Besides the urine strip test that you took at home, you would also want to do a BHCG test that will determine how long you have conceived and if your pregnancy is running absolutely fine.

It was and still a ritual in many parts of India to keep the pregnancy news a secret from outsiders, friends, and relatives till the 12th week. But with the advent of the internet and health awareness, the urbane couples are taking care to visit the gynecologist as soon as they know about their pregnancy. Getting the necessary tests done early in pregnancy will help to detect and rule out any abnormality.

What is a double marker test?

Throughout the course of pregnancy, a woman goes through a lot of tests and scans to ensure good health of the fetus. Double marker test is one among the important test that gynecologists recommend for every pregnant woman. It marks any abnormalities in the fetus.

This test is usually done after 8 weeks of pregnancy and can be done anytime between 14 weeks. It determines chromosomal inaccuracy in the fetus.

The significance of a double marker test

Double marker test is important and should be made a compulsion in the list of pregnancy tests. It accurately detects if there are any abnormalities present in the fetus.

Specifically, the Double Marker Test is recommended by the gynecologist to find out if the unborn child is affected by Down syndrome or not. If the woman is above 35 years of age, it is compulsory because getting pregnant in older age increases the risk of the fetus having a chromosomal abnormality and eventually Down syndrome.

How accurate is the double marker test?

As a to-be mother, you might be wondering about the accuracy results of the Double Marker Test. Clinical tests prove substantial accurate detections in case of abnormalities and chromosomal issues. They are as well preferred by doctors around the world as the most reliable test to determine the chromosomal health of the fetus.

If the fetus is detected to have some abnormality, the doctor usually recommends a more advanced test called the Nuchal Fold Scan.

What is the Nuchal Fold Scan?

Also known as Nuchal translucency (NT) scan, this test is done to screen for Down Syndrome in the unborn baby. Nuchal translucency refers to the collection of fluid under the skin sitting at the back of the baby’s neck. But in babies with Down Syndrome, the fluid is more than the normal amount.

How to prepare for the test?

The double marker test is a normal blood test and there are no specific preparations required to undergo this test. But if you are on any medication, you must inform your doctor beforehand. The doctor might put a halt to those medications for a few days till the blood test is done.

Be aware of all the different tests that you must do early in your pregnancy to determine any birth defects and take the necessary precautions.

Also, Read:

Importance of Folic Acid During Pregnancy


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