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A blood test at what you thought was 13 weeks wouldn't be helpful if you were actually 16 weeks pregnant.

It may lead to you being given a high chance for Down's syndrome, when your baby is actually developing normally (false-positive result). Addition of non-invasive test to improve screening for pregnant women.

As long as the timings are right, you can have the NT scan and blood test at the same appointment as your dating scan. That's because the screening test needs an accurate due date to be reliable.

Hormones in your blood vary according to your stage of pregnancy.

Most units offer a screening test for Down's syndrome and other conditions at the same time as the dating scan.

The scan can check that your baby's heart is beating nicely and that he's developing normally.

The scan will usually show that your pregnancy is less far along than suggested by your LMP.

This means that accurate dating reduces your chance of having your labour induced because your baby is thought to be overdue.

For example, the NT scan for Down's syndrome has a false-positive rate of five per cent.

This means that, out of 20 women who have the scan, one woman will be wrongly told she has a high chance of having a baby with Down's syndrome.

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