If you are trying to become pregnant, you and your partner may sometimes be asked to undergo some medical tests before (and sometimes even after) pregnancy. Although these tests may seem too daunting for you, these tests will make sure your baby gets everything right. One such test which may require a little more focus than other test is genetic testing before pregnancy. To know more, read this article.
What Is Genetic Testing?
The genetic testing involves taking a blood test by the prospective parents to search for any defective genes. The defective gene passed on into a baby and that may result in genetic abnormalities as they decide to become pregnant or already pregnant. In most cases of genetic disorders, if both parents pass the faulty genes on to the infant, the baby is affected. This means that if you get positive test results and your partner has negative test results, then no genetic disorder can affect your infant. Nonetheless, if both of you get positive test results, then your baby’s chance of getting infected with any hereditary illnesses maybe just 25 percent.
Common Genetic Diseases
The following are some of the genetic disorders which may result from irregular gene mutation:
- This disorder can lead to bone defects, liver problems and childhood anemia. In some cases, a baby may not even survive with this condition.
- Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disorder that can cause severe damage to the lung and can even cause complications in a baby’s digestive system.
- Sickle cell disease is a severe blood disorder that can damage the immune system, cause anemia or lead to other serious complications of a baby’s health.
- Fragile X syndrome is a genetic disease, which can lead to developmental delays or learning disabilities in the infant.
Types of Genetic Screening
The following type of genetic screening may be appropriate for you:
- You may be screened to check for gene mutation of any type also known as genotyping.
- If the results of your tests are positive, your partner may need to undergo sequencing
How Does Genetic Screening Actually Work?
If both parents inherit bad genes it can cause genetic deformities. You may not have an issue if you have the defective gene. But you can be the carrier of the defective gene. This will also not be a problem for your baby unless your partner also has a defective gene, in which case there is a risk that your baby may have some sort of genetic disorder.
If you are a carrier, your blood or saliva may be taken for the sample to detect what possible diseases you may pass on to your baby. Nowadays, genetic screenings may be able to detect as many as 400 genetic disorders.
What To Do If You And Your Partner Are Carriers?
If both prospective parents are screened positively, only one in four is likely to have any genetic disorder affecting the infant. However, your doctor may want to discuss all possible options with you. You may take IVF, which may help your doctor determine whether or not the fetus may be affected by faulty genes before it can be implanted in your uterus. The other way to get naturally pregnant is to test for genetic abnormalities and to get your baby screened once you’re pregnant for 10 to 12 weeks.
Pros And Cons Of Genetic Testing Before Pregnancy
Genetic testing can offer you both advantages and disadvantages.
- The prospective parents will help to make the decision in good time.
- Often prospective parents are unaware that they can lead a genetic condition and the results of the test will help them know the same thing.
- The fact that your baby may be genetically defective can be disheartening for the parents.
- The couple may need to make a difficult decision to keep or terminate the child.
What To Expect From The Outcome Of Pre-Pregnancy Genetic Carrier Test?
The following results can be expected:
- Neither you nor your companion can be the disease carrier.
- If one of you is a carrier, that does not put your child at any danger of having any genetic defects.
- If both of you bear the defective genes, that ensures that only 25 percent of your baby’s chances of having any kind of genetic disorder.
Things to Consider
Genetic testing will give you considerable awareness about yourself and the health status of your partner. But that certainly doesn’t mean genetic testing can be for all. Before making this tough decision to undergo the testing you may need to consider some of the following aspects:
- If your screen test shows a positive result, then chances are there to pass the faulty genes on to your infant. Therefore, make an informed decision about whether or not you want to go ahead with the concept of pregnancy.
- Think about how you are going to reveal the findings to your families, as this can lead to a lot of tension and worry.
- You may be nervous about how you can handle the test results, and what your next course of action might be.
Cost of Genetic Testing Before Pregnancy
In India, genetic testing for pre-pregnancy parents, including Next Generation Screening (NGS) and Non-Invasive Prenatal Screening (NIPT). The cost about 40,000-50,000 and 25,000-30,000 rupees, respectively. Genetic testing for Down syndrome prior to pregnancy and genetic autism testing may also be performed. You may be able to talk to your doctor about the procedures in detail.
We know you and your partner can get pretty intimidating about anything like genetic testing. Nonetheless, it may sometimes be a good idea for prospective parents to undergo this test to determine that they can bring a safe child into this world. You may also seek the help of a genetic counselor if you are still jittery.