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You are here : home > Pregnancy > Medical Aspects of Pregnancy > Triple Marker Test during Pregnancy

Triple Marker Test during Pregnancy


Triple marker test is one of the genetic tests carried out during pregnancy. Read more about the importance of triple marker test during pregnancy.


Triple marker test is a blood test done between 14th and 18th week of pregnancy. It is also called multiple marker test or maternal serum screening test. These tests are done to find out whether there are probabilities of the foetus having Down syndrome. The test can also detect pregnancies at the higher risk of turner syndrome and trisomy 18.

Triple marker test is done and is not just like other blood tests done during pregnancy. It is not just the result of the blood test that matters because various other factors are considered and taken into account which includes one’s age, results of the blood tests, family health history and many more. Only after weighing all the factors, they come to the conclusion and estimate the woman’s chances of delivering a healthy child.


What is Triple Marker Test?


Triple marker test is a screening test done to find out whether the unborn child is free from Down syndrome or not. Various aspects are taken into consideration and the values gathered from the test along with many maternal characteristics that are analyzed with the help of a computer program to specify the probability that the foetus has Down syndrome.


What is Down Syndrome?


Down syndrome is an abnormality that can result in mental retardation, abnormalities related to undernourishment in the body like cleft palate and upward slanted eyes and abnormalities in organs like heart problems and intestinal obstruction.


Why is Triple Marker Test Done?


The main intention of carrying out triple marker test is to find out whether the pregnant woman carries the risk of carrying a baby with Down syndrome. Women who get the result positive are suggested to go for amniocentesis in which the cells of the foetus are cultured and analyzed. This is a definitive method of testing the foetus for Down syndrome and other genetic conditions specifically caused by the abnormalities in the number and structure of chromosomes.


Preparation for the Triple Marker Test

There is no specific instruction given regarding preparation for the test. Fasting is not required as well.

Factors Considered by the Doctor for Analysis
  • Age, weight and ethnicity of the mother
  • If the mother is diabetic
  • If she is having multiple pregnancy
  • Gestational age of the foetus

These aspects can affect the result of the blood test and so accuracy in information is must. If any of the information is not correct, the results of screening might be inaccurate.


Precautions and Care after the Test


Once the blood sample is taken, you should apply pressure on the place that has been punctured until the bleeding stops. This will help reduce bruising. Bandage may be applied, if needed. If there is still discomfort, warm pack can be applied on the site.

Complications are nominal, only in some cases women can feel like fainting or lightheaded after the blood is taken. In some cases, blood can accumulate at the site of puncture. No serious side effect of triple marker test is possible.


Who Should Undergo Triple Marker Test?


Although every pregnant woman should go for triple screening test, it is recommended to women who:
  • Are more than 35 years of age
  • Have a family history of birth defects
  • Have diabetes and use insulin
  • Have come in contact with radiation of high level
  • Had a viral infection during pregnancy

After Receiving Abnormal Results

If you receive abnormal results after triple marker test, there is no need to lose sleep. This test does not indicate that your child is definitely going to have some birth defect. This means that further investigation is required.

In general, you should remember that a triple marker test is just a screen test. It can discover the possibility of having a child with problems, but do not identify them all. A positive screen means that there is need for more investigation. If you have any question regarding this test or you want to know whether it is recommended for you or not, you should consult an obstetrician and take advice from a genetic counselor.


Is it necessary to undergo triple marker test during pregnancy? What are the advantages of getting triple marker test done during pregnancy? When should a pregnant woman undergo triple marker test? Discuss here.

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