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Spending NTD 500,000 (~USD 16,666) on IVF, I got a baby with Down syndrome

Ms. Chen, a 43-year-old woman, has spent NTD 500,000 (~USD 16,666) on the assisted reproductive treatments. She got married late, and finally got pregnant after several IVF cycles. However, the report of amniocentesis displayed abnormal in the 16th weeks of gestation. The baby has chromosome 21 trisomy, which has known as Down syndrome. Ms. Chen and her husband was very disappointed at the clinic suite, and repeatedly asked to the doctor " Is it real? Could it be any mistake in the report?"

Both the usual ages of marriage and pregnant are increasing in Taiwan. There are more and more mothers-to-be with advanced ages at GYOPD. Many women got married in their 40s, and they were hurried to catch up the "progress"—making a baby. Few people could get pregnant naturally at these ages, and so many couples chose to undergo IVF to have babies. Additionally, the risk of babies with Down syndrome is increasing as well.

Averagely, one with Down syndrome per 800 newborns was in Taiwan. The risk is 50 times higher in the women of 45 years than those of 25 years. 

Ms. Chen took amniocentesis at the 16 weeks of gestation. The report was released 2 weeks after. When she got the bad news and must take the induction, it was already at her 20 weeks of gestation. The psychological and physical stress were increasing with the gestation weeks.

The prenatal testing for Down syndrome include invasive methods, such as amniocentesis (at 16th weeks), and non-invasive methods, such as NIPT/NIFTY (at 10~12 weeks).

With the improvement of molecular technology, the NIPT uses the mothers' blood to test the cell-free fetal chromosomes, including trisomy 21, trisomy 18, trisomy 13, and sex chromosome abnormalities. The accuracy and sensitivity are high in the above chromosomes.

Since the trends of getting married and pregnant late were obvious in Taiwan, and thus the women with advanced maternal age should think more about the biological schedule.

Stork Fertility Center:

1. Over 43 years, the live birth rate per retrieval cycle was under 5%, and the miscarriage rate was over 30% according to the data of Stork Fertility Center.

2. Three strategies for the women with different ages:

3. Since the Taiwanese government only provides the supplementary grant of amniocentesis to the women over 35 years, over 80% of babies with Down syndrome were delivered by the younger mothers ( under 35 years of age). The policy misleads people to ignore the importance of prenatal testing in the younger women.

Stork Fertility Center送子鳥 Stork Fertility Center送子鳥 Author