The Double Marker Test is one of them that most gynecologists prefer to perform during the first trimester. A series of tests are being done to assess the pregnancy, decide the normal conditions, assess the criticality, and perform several other such tasks. When a woman gets pregnant, her body changes as the fetus starts growing. There are hormonal changes, physical and mental; changes, and so on.
Apart from the mother, the fetus also undergoes many changes, including tissue differentiation, arms limb formation, organ formation, and more. During this stage, there can be abnormalities if the cells do not divide properly or there are problems with the implantation. Most of these abnormalities are due to chromosomes, and the double marker test in pregnancy is conducted to judge the same.
The double marker test: A brief overview
The first thing we should learn about the double marker test in pregnancy is precisely what this screening is about. It is often termed a maternal serum screening, offering a comprehensive report to the doctors so they can decide about the mother’s health and any complication that might arise as the pregnancy proceeds.
The double market test is not a definitive examination from which a particular factor can be judged. Instead, it is more of a predictive analysis doctors rely on to prepare for any complicated pregnancy situation.
Two essential chemical compounds are tested for in the blood in the double marker test in pregnancy. These are the free beta-human chorionic gonadotropin and pregnancy-associated plasma protein A. These chemicals indicate several aspects of pregnancy, like the hormonal levels of estrogen and progesterone, the plasma in the blood, the performance of the lymphatic and circulatory systems, and so on.
What does the double marker test explain?
The levels of hCG and PAPP-A can change during pregnancy due to specific chromosome abnormalities. To understand this, let us first understand the chromosome factor of humans. Regardless of age, gender, or anything else, the number of chromosomes in every human cell is the same, that is, 23 pairs. We always consider the chromosomes in pairs due to the diploid condition.
Of these 23 pairs, 22 pairs of chromosomes are somatic, whereas one pair is related to the person’s gender. In females, the sex chromosome has two genes, X & X. On the other hand, in males, the sex chromosome has X & Y genes. It is through the combination of these genes and the chromosomes that the gender of the fetus can be predicted. Also, if there are abnormalities in the number of chromosome pairs and their structures, the fetus is bound to have diseases or syndromes.
- Down syndrome is the most prominent problem in a baby due to chromosome abnormalities. Here, there are three chromosomes numbered 21 instead of two. It can be easily known with the help of the double marker test in pregnancy.
- Trisomy 13 and Trisomy 18 is chromosome Abnormality occurring in babies where the 18th and 13th chromosomes are present in three.
What is the importance of conducting the double marker test in pregnancy?
There are several reasons why a doctor usually prefers to conduct the double marker test in pregnancy. Following are some of the major facts you should be aware of before proceeding with the test.
- Usually, doctors prefer to conduct the double marker test during the first premise to identify any fetal chromosome abnormality. If the chances of abnormalities are pretty high, you can medically terminate the pregnancy without risking your life.
- When women above 35 years of age get pregnant, the baby’s chances of developing chromosome abnormalities are pretty high. This can be easily known with the double marker test’s help in the pregnancy’s first trimester.
- The double marker test in pregnancy is the preliminary examination to identify any chromosome abnormalities. If the levels of PAPP-A and hCG are high, you can prepare for a more thorough test.
How much does the double marker test in pregnancy cost?
The cost of a double marker test in pregnancy depends on the laboratory you choose for the examination. Gynecologists always rely on those results conducted from a licensed and NABL-certified lab. Apart from this, the examination cost can increase if there are add-ons since the double marker test is a comprehensive examination that checks the levels of several other components apart from PAPP-A and hCG.
In this article, we introduced you to the double marker test in pregnancy, often considered the preliminary examination to check any chromosome abnormality. Although it is not mandatory, most gynecologists recommend getting the test done so that they can take the necessary steps later on.