Pregnancy comes with a lot of anxiety, especially if it is your first or one that comes after long periods of infertility.
One of the causes of anxiety is wondering whether the baby is growing normally in your womb.
Therefore, one of the ways to put your mind at ease is to do a prenatal screening. This is where an OSCAR test comes in.
So what is an OSCAR test?
An OSCAR test or ‘One Stop Clinic Test for Assessment of Risk of Fetal Anomalies’ is a prenatal screening test done in the first trimester of pregnancy to detect fetal anomalies, in particular Downs syndrome (trisomy 21).
How is OSCAR test performed?
An OSCAR test is usually performed between 11-14 weeks of gestation when the baby’s length is about 45-85mm.
The test has two components which includes:
1) An ultrasound done to measure the nuchal translucency (NT), which is the thickness of the fluid behind the fetus neck. NT measurement can detect up to 80% of cases of downs syndrome, making it more sensitive. Increased thickness of fluid increases the chances of downs syndrome.
2) A blood test to measure the levels of – beta-HCG and pregnancy-associated plasma protein-A (PAPP-A) in your blood. This increases the accuracy of an OSCAR test to 90%. An increase in the levels of the two hormones is correlated with increased chances of downs syndrome.
The results from the two tests will then be used together with your age, the gestational age, and the length of the fetus to calculate the risk of you having a baby with Down syndrome.
A computer software will then be used to do the risk assessment and compute the results based on all the factors mentioned above.
How do I interpret My Results?
You will either be considered low risk, normal, or high risk depending on the results.
High risk is when the chance of the baby having downs syndrome is more than 1:300, which is also referred to as a positive result.
Low risk is less than 1:300 and is not equivalent to a negative result, but it means the chances of downs syndrome are low.
Why Go for an OSCAR Test?
One of the main reasons for choosing to go for an OSCAR test is that it helps with early detection of chromosomal anomalies, as early as the first trimester.
This gives early reassurance and removes anxiety for those with normal results.
Depending on the composite risk score, you can then decide whether you want a more invasive test like CVS or amniocentesis; it is also less traumatic and has a high accuracy of 90%.
What are the risks of an OSCAR test?
Considering it is a non-invasive procedure, there are no risks or adverse effects to the fetus or the mother involved.
What Else Does it Detect?
Apart from Downs syndrome, an OSCAR test can show the gestational age of your fetus by measuring the crown-rump length.
Other defects like abdominal wall defects, cranial, and spinal cord malformations can also be picked early through an ultrasound.
What is the Cost of OSCAR test in Singapore?
If you have decided to take this test, the price of OSCAR test in Singapore is between $300 – $400.
Should you take the OSCAR test?
Life is full of uncertainties, but your pregnancy doesn’t have to be one of them. You can lower your anxiety levels for a chance to enjoy your pregnancy journey and to prepare for whatever outcome.
The best way to do this is through a prenatal test like an OSCAR test.
An OSCAR test is non-invasive, reliable, accurate, and available in many hospitals and gynae clinics across Singapore.
You only need to visit a public or private hospital or clinic of your choice in Singapore to get relevant advice and have your doctor help you plan your future by doing a prenatal test. If you are already seeing a gynae, your gynae will inform you on the test choices that you have.