What is a triple Marker test?

The triple marker test is also known as the triple test, multiple market test, or AFP plus test. The triple marker test helps detect if the unborn baby has the risk of developing certain genetic disorders at birth. Genetic disorders can lead to many serious birth defects and diseases that the family has to manage in the future. By screening for three markers in the blood, awareness about the genetic disorders spreads beforehand.

What are the markers for which the triple marker tests screens?

Three markers make up the triple marker test. These three markers in the mother’s blood are as follows-

  • Alpha-fetoprotein– The liver of the baby produces alpha-fetoprotein. High levels of the compound or lower levels of the compound mean changes in neural development.
  • HCG-The HcG is a hormone that the placenta secretes during pregnancy. A higher concentration of HCG shows that the baby has a risk of Down syndrome.
  • Estriol-The baby and the placenta produce the UE compound. Tests are done to see if the UE compound is lower in quantity in the blood. If the fetus produces a low quantity of UE, it can indicate the development of down syndrome.

Why is the triple marker test important?

The triple marker test has many benefits, and these are-

  • A triple marker test helps detect serious congenital disabilities even before the child is born. This prepares the parents to deal with the disease.
  • The test also has the benefit of knowing if the expecting mother is having twins.
  • The test also monitors the blood for any factors that can lead to pregnancy complications during childbirth.

The triple test marker, therefore, prepares the doctor against possible complications and defects that need management during pregnancy.

Read: Urine Culture Test: Its Purpose and What To Expect?

What is the procedure for the triple marker test?

A woman who is 15 to 20 weeks pregnant can undergo the triple marker test. The triple test is done with a blood sample, and the patient needs no special preparation. The lab professional collects the blood sample with intravenous injection and stores it in the lab. The sample is then screened for the marker. The test results of the triple marker test come through in 2 to 4 days.

When do you need a triple marker test?

Usually, getting a triple marker test can be done for all expecting mothers. However, certain conditions make the triple marker test an absolute necessity. The conditions where the doctor will most definitely suggest the triple marker test are as follows-

  • If the woman is 35 years or older– In the case of pregnancy for an older woman, the risk of genetic disorders and developmental problems is more common in the fetus. Therefore, the triple Marker test is needed if the woman is nearing 35 years of age or above.
  • Family history-If the family has a history of congenital disabilities and developmental problems that might come through as congenital disabilities, the unborn baby should also be screened for the same. Here, the triple marker test is important.
  • Diabetic mother– if the mother has diabetes and uses insulin frequently, the doctor suggests the Triple Marker test during the second trimester.


After the test results for the Triple test come through, if there are complications or risks of genetic disorders, the doctor guides the parents properly and also suggests treatment approaches for future health problems.

Read: Urine Routine Test Uses, Benefits, Process, And Price