I have good new i am currently 13 and a bit weeks pregnant and being the other side of 34 i wanted to check things out and go for an OSCAR scan. I know there are enough things to worry about in pregnancy but when you couple that with being a little bit older it kinda gives you even more to think about!
So i am based in Bristol and the OSCAR scan is not available on the NHS so if i wanted it i had to go private, so where to go? In Bristol there are 2 choices, the Chesterfield clinic
or the Spire clinic
I chose The SPire clinic basically because i knew where it was (it’s on the corner of Pembroke road in clifton literally 5 mins away from whiteladies road). For the OSCAR scan it was £196 . So you arrive then you have your blood taken and you are weighed. I was a bit embarrassed about being weighed as i am over weight and not proud of it but honestly the nurse whom does it is SO nice, plus if you don’t want to know how much you weigh you don’t have to see ! I was made to feel really welcome and didn’t ahve to wait very long at all for the blood to be taken. Things are so different from being on the NHS!!
Then you are asked to go away for 1 hour so they can test your blood for the 2 hormones that they measure (HCG and PAPP-A). It’s pretty cool because you can go to whiteladies road and that makes an hour go pretty fast! So now you go back and this is the exciting bit you get to see your baby. You don;t need a full bladder either which makes the whole experience a lot more comfortable. Dr’s and 1 midwife from SOuthmead hospital (they each are allocated a different day in which they work, so depending on which day you go you will see a different person) do the scan and the calculated the downs risk. So you have to answer a few basic questions, ie do you smoke, your age, etc. The you have the scan, which is done via ultra sound over your tummy. It’s great because you get loads of pictures and you will get the proper number of weeks pregnant you are too. Via this scan the Dr or midwife takes a measurement from the back of the babies neck (they tell you what they are doing the whole time) and this is used to calculate you risk of having a downs baby. This measurement is the NT pasrt of the OSCAR test).
So you sit back down with the Dr and then they put your 2 blood test results into the computer and the NT measurement and then the come up with your downs risk. For me because i am 35 my initial risk was 1:350 , after the blood test and scan mine was given as 1:4100 . It cannot tell you if you are for sure having a downs baby or not only a risk, who knows you might be that 1 in 4000? But the test is 90% accurate .
The results also give you your risks for other syndromes: Edward’s and Pataus syndrome.
I can strongly recommend the SPire clinic, everyone was very nice and made the whole process easier. If you have any questions they Dr’s or midwife answer them really well and i wasn’t felt like i was being rushed at all. It is an expensive test but i personally think for the peace of mind that it brings it’s priceless.