Risks of Down Syndrome

Cynthia Flynn's picture


Dear Midwife,
I am 34 years old and currently 20 weeks pregnant. At 18 weeks I had an anatomical ultrasound (I assume this is also what is referred to as a level II ultrasound). The u/s doctor told me there were 2 EIF soft markers on the baby's heart and that my chances of having a baby with down syndrome were 1:220 or so. Immediately thereafter, I had an appointment with my OB who gave me a lot of good information. I then went for the AFP test. Those results came back as 1:5000 for down syndrome and 1:1000 for other trisomy birth defects.

My question is: should I still be concerned, or did the risk of downs syndrome drop? I have a follow up u/s in 3 weeks. Please let me know your thoughts on my situation.

Many thanks.


When they say "soft markers," that's what they mean, they do not have hard data that say that there is a problem. It sounds like even in the very worst case scenario you've been presented, you have a 219 out of 220 chance of having a normal baby. I'd go with that!

-- Cynthia, CNM. PhD.