Pregnancy 35 and Older Community
13.9k Members
Avatar universal

Genetic Counseling

Hi! Ladies! I hope someone can help me with this question... I had my AFP test and came back negative and that is all good.. Yesterday I came in for my 20 weeks ultrasound and they couldn't get a clear picture of the heart. Today my doctor's office called me to tell me they are referring me to another ultrasound to get a clear picture and at the same time do some Genetic Counseling. I was a mess and had a very high level of anxiety when I was waiting for my AFP result. Now this... has anyone gone to Genetic Counseling before? I know they may offer amniocentesis but I know I dont want to do that since my AFP is negative even though it's not 100% accurate. They said the reason they are referring me is because I am 35 years old! It's not fair that they are causing me this much stress!!! I just want to relax and enjoy my pregnancy. I was gonna plan on having another one after this pregnancy, maybe in a couple of years.. But since I've been going through all of this stress! I am starting to feel like I don't want to go through all of this again... Dr. even suggested to have my tubes tied after this birth.. I can't believe this... Shouldn't they wait for me to ask that instead of suggesting that? I almost want to change docs but feel that it will be too much of a hassle.. and might go through the same thing with other docs. Help!
8 Responses
480331 tn?1310403529
First of all your doctor sounds like a moron.  Suggesting that you get your tubes tied after this birth at 35??!? Ridiculous. That's reason enough to switch!  Second, being 35 and over is an open door for all prenatal tests and genetic counseling.  Some drs will only suggest additional testing if the situation warrants, others go through the gammit.  If your u/s didn't give a clear pic of the heart, another u/s would make sense.  But you have every right to decline or accept the genetic counselling.  There should be warnings posted on billboards throughout the country that say "If you are 35 and older and want to become, or are currently pregnant, be prepared to suffer high anxiety, unnecessary worry, and mental anguish for the next 9 months!!  Best wishes to you!  Pam
503649 tn?1304357466
I had the same problem with my son (who is healthy and 6 months old today).  I had to go back for a second sono because they couldn't get a clear picture at 20 weeks of the heart and the bottom of the spine.  My AFP and NT all came back good so I opted to not have the Amino.  I think the only reason they are referring you to a genetic counselor is because of your age.  I think 35 and over is considered the danger age (don't stress) everything will be just fine, I'm sure.  Plus, I was 41 at delivery of my son.  You're still young ;)  Try and enjoy the rest of your pregnancy, this should be a very joyful time for you.
480331 tn?1310403529
and..to answer your question about genetic counseling...yes I had it with my first pregnancy.  The counselor will ask you and your partner a multitude of questions on your medical/family history, the combination is factored in to a statistic they ultimately come up with that gives you their best attempt at figuring out your chances of having a child with complications such as, downs, trisomy, etc.  My statisic was 1:27, and I have a normal healthy 28 mo old son.
764229 tn?1322519884
I was also sent to have a nother u/s at 20 weeks because they could not get a good picture of his heart, I am 39 and my dr told me he did not think anything was wrong just wanted a better picture that way if something was wrong they could plan to have a peds heart dr at the birth, it turned out his heart was fine, best of luck to you
377493 tn?1356502149
I haven't been through genetic counselling (although at 40 I am sure it will come up), but I am shocked your Dr. would suggest getting your tubes tied..!  I don't care if you are 50, that is an incredibly personal decision and it involves surgery.  Way out of line in my opinion.

Anyway, try not to stress, from what the others said it sounds like a normal thing to have recommended.  It certainly doesn't mean anything is wrong.  Good luck to you!
671251 tn?1236116671
Level 2 ultrasounds are very common. Most likely you'll feel greatly relieved when they have a closer look and Lord willing, everything will be fine.  Sadly there are many doctors who look down on "older women" and can only think of you as a bad statistic. But really, 35 is young!  Many OBs encourage you to see the the other doctors in the practice because any of them might deliver you if your own doctor can't. All you have to do is request your next appointment with another doctor. You might have to sign something to that effect. There is someone you'll feel more comfortable with and who will not add to your stress which is very important now. You'll probably see a perinatologist when you have the level 2 Ultrasound. If you like that doctor, they could take you on as a patient or could recommend a good doctor with a better bedside manner. One thing I love about this forum is how happy everyone is here about getting pregnant and having babies. Babies are a precious gift from God,  not a disease. Having babies before ultrasounds and TMI about those scary statistics was SO MUCH less stressful.
My best advice I have for you is
                             "Pray, and let God worry" --Martin Luther
667829 tn?1297978123
When I was at my level ii ultrasound the doc was telling me he'd had two 45 year old women in earlier that day :-O) in the old days advanced maternal age was 30 apparently but its moving up, now its 35 maybe in a few years it'll be 40.....  my doctor only brought up genetic testing when the results of my quad screen came back positive (I'm 39). try not to worry.
Avatar universal
Thank you so much you guys!!! had my genetic screening today and had my ultrasound done. Ultrasound looks good and everything that's supposed to be there is there... The Genetic counselor did interview me about family history on both sides and gave me my ratio on AFP. AFP came back negative with 1:160 for downs which she says is still in the low risk category for my age, 1:10,000 for Trisonomy 18... Thank God!!!
Have an Answer?
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Get information and tips on how to help you choose the right place to deliver your baby.
Get the facts on how twins and multiples are formed and your chance of carrying more than one baby at a time.
Learn about the risks and benefits of circumcision.
What to expect during the first hours after delivery.
Learn about early screening and test options for your pregnancy.
Learn about testing and treatment for GBS bacterium.