The decision to bring a new life into the world is both the most joyous and the most terrifying decisions a couple can make. There are so many wonders you’ll be able to share together once you bring your bright, bouncing, bundle of joy into the world – and so much that can go wrong.
From genetic predispositions passed on from mother and father to environmental factors that cause genetic abnormalities, and all points in between there are many things to worry about before becoming pregnant and while you are pregnant. Fortunately for you, there is new technology that can remove some of that uncertainty from your big picture.
Benefits of Pre-Pregnancy Screening
Unlike prenatal genetic testing that tests the baby for signs of trouble, pre-pregnancy genetic testing can isolate and screen for indicators or more than 300 potential diseases your child may be at risk for based on its parental DNA – before you even become pregnant. This includes determining risks for diseases like:
- Cystic Fibrosis
- Sickle Cell Disease
- Spinal Muscular Atrophy
- Tay-Sachs Disease
Every couple may not require pre-pregnancy genetic testing. Some prefer it to rule out risks for some conditions, while others are simply erring on the side of caution. You may find this option particularly interesting if you:
- Have a family history of genetic illnesses or birth defects
- Have had a child with chromosomal abnormalities or a birth defect
- Suffer from male infertility
- Suffer from Premature Ovarian Insufficiency
Once you are pregnant, it is a little late for these tests. Thankfully, there are NIPT test options to consider that will help you determine if your unborn baby is at risk for a wide range of genetic or chromosomal conditions.
Non Invasive Genetic Testing During Pregnancy
Prenatal DNA testing has traditionally been a risky proposition for both mother and child. That is why the non-invasive testing options have proven so attractive to mothers today who are wary of the risks of standard genetic tests unless they are determined to be absolutely essential.
While non invasive DNA testing during pregnancy does offer a glimpse into the likelihood of your baby to have certain chromosomal and other conditions, it does not replace the need for more invasive tests for diagnostic purposes.
But it can be used to eliminate the need for these additional tests – reducing risks to both mother and child. Not only can NIPT tests be used to rule out chromosomal disorders like Down Syndrome, Edwards Syndrome, Patau Syndrome, and Triploidy; but it can also be used to rule out various microdeletion syndromes and sex chromosome abnormalities. Many microdeletions aren’t even screened for with traditional prenatal screening methods.
Benefits NIPT Prenatal Testing
There are many reasons to consider NIPT testing over traditional screening options. It poses fewer risks to the child and mother, first and foremost. The test itself involves genetic counseling (before and after) along with a simple draw of one tube of blood from the mother. It takes little time, causes little pain, and produces no risk to the infant. The downside is that it is not a diagnostic test. While it can indicate the need for further testing it does not replace the amniocentesis or CVS for diagnosing various conditions.
Expecting mothers today have new options for prenatal testing (and pre-pregnancy) test than they’ve ever had before. Options that are well worth considering for anyone expecting a baby.