Why do the quad test?
My doctor, based on my family history, has recommended that I get a quad test. I don't understand the purpose. What will this tell us? What's the worst-case scenario?
The quad test is a type of test done during the second trimester of pregnancy in order to detect chromosonal abnormalities or other defects of the fetus. I would encourage you to talk to your ob/gyn for further information about the test.
The development of a human being is a complex process. There are many process that must occur correctly in order for a normal and healthy baby to be born. One major step the must occur normally is the division of chromosone. If this occurs incorrectly, there can be major defects in the fetus. Some of these will make the fetus non-viable, and it will pass before birth. However, some of these allow for the fetus to be born--however would result in a baby with severe defects that might suffer for some time until he or she ultimately passes.
The quad test is a test of four different markers in the blood. By looking at the pattern of the four markers, the OB/GYN may be able to predict if any of the known defects is present in the fetus. If it is suggestive of a problem, then a more invasive procedure like an amniocentesis can be done. With this information, your and your family can make a decision if this fetus should be aborted.
Talk with your OB/GYN.