Should You Get a Genetic Test When You are Pregnant?

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Should You Get a Genetic Test When You are Pregnant?

Expecting a little bundle of joy is an exciting experience and at times, can be a scary time for new parents. There are many things to consider and plan for before the birth of a precious newborn baby. Your doctor may have a list of concerns he or she would like to investigate during your pregnancy.

Besides eating healthier, avoiding caffeine and exercising, a pregnant woman may want to learn about the benefits of diagnostic genetic tests. These are tests that help determine the health of the baby before he or she is born. This type of testing enables the parents to plan for the future for their baby and their growing family.

Why Genetic Testing

A pregnant woman may want to undergo genetic testing to determine the overall health of her baby, as well as plan for the future if the baby will be born with special needs. Another reason for genetic testing is that some parents are carriers of various illnesses and diseases; it is part of their DNA. This type of testing with molecular biology kits would be done before the woman becomes pregnant.

What Genetic Testing Can Determine

Some of the tests, performed either before pregnancy or within the first trimester, can show the following:

  •         Spinal Muscular Atrophy
  •         Fragile X Syndrome
  •         Tay-Sachs Disease
  •         Sickle Cell Disease
  •         Cystic Fibrosis
  •         Brain problems
  •         Spinal issues
  •         Trisomy 18
  •         Down Syndrome

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Likelihood of Something Showing up 

According to the Center for Disease Control, the CDC, one in 33 babies, about 3 percent of all births, will be born with some type of birth defect. Although a birth defect can develop any time during the nine months of pregnancy, most forms during the first three months of their growth.

Disadvantages of Genetic Testing 

There is no guarantee that genetic testing will be an accurate representation of what your child could suffer from once they are born. There are many false positives in some of the genetic testing, and this causes a lot of women and their doctors to think twice before undergoing this type of testing.

There is a misconception regarding an amniocentesis test, which is a long needle that takes a small sampling of amniotic fluid out of the sack the fetus is suspended in. Unfortunately, many misinformed women believe that this procedure causes miscarriages. The fact is, this test is safe, and the number of miscarriages is very low in conjunction with this type of test.

Genetic Screening vs. Diagnostic Testing

Diagnostic testing and genetic screening are two different procedures with different results. However, both can assist parents in planning for the future.

Genetic screening is a measurement of risk while diagnostic testing is a determination of the amount of threat or damages a disease will affect a baby after they are born.

Obtaining genetic testing is a personal decision between the mother and the father of the soon-to-be-born baby. No one likes to be surprised with any life altering news. Genetic tests can help new parents plan for their future, as well as prepare their home for a child with special needs.

Guest Article. Contains a sponsored link.

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