Pregnancy is a time of wonder. It is a time filled with excitement, joy, and no small degree of fear. As an expectant parent, you only want the best for your child. There are so many things that can go wrong. So many fears to face. Private genetic testing offers a safer alternative to traditional genetics testing as a first alert to let you know if further, more invasive, testing procedures may be warranted.
While using a DNA test for pregnancy concerns does not fully replace or eliminate the need for the more stringent genetics testing that is available, it can rule out the possibility of certain genetic conditions, allowing you to breathe a little more easily while you await your new arrival.
Pre-Pregnancy Genetics Testing
If you’re not already expecting, you and your partner can have prenatal genetic testing conducted to look for a wide range of conditions, including more than 200 diseases, to see if there is a genetic predisposition, within your own genetic code, that may allow you to pass along these specific conditions to your child. Among the ones tested for are:
- Cystic Fibrosis
- Spinal Muscular Atrophy
- Sickle Cell Disease
- Tay-Sachs Disease
Many of these conditions and diseases are recessive conditions, meaning that both parents must be carriers in order for the child to have the condition. Genetic screening for both parents will indicate if there are any risks to consider for these particular illnesses.
Prenatal Genetic Testing
Once you are pregnant there are still plenty of conditions you can test for with this non-invasive procedure that poses no risk to mother or the unborn child. These tests will not replace tests like the amniocentesis for definitive results, but they can rule out the need for such a risky medical procedure. One of the primary goal of the NIPT test is to reduce the number of women who take the amniocentesis and other riskier medical testing procedures.
Among the conditions NIPT screens for are:
- Down Syndrome (trisomy 21)
- Trisomy 13
- Trisomy 18
- Sex Chromosome Abnormalities
Additionally, you can elect to screen microdeletions that are not generally included in prenatal screenings. Considering that microdeletions can affect anyone, regardless of parental age, ethnicity, or other indicators and impact one of every thousand pregnancies, this screening can help identify six different microdeletion syndromes including:
- Wolf-Hirschhorn Syndrome
- Prader-Willi syndrome
- Angelman Syndrome
- 22q Deletion Syndrome
- 1p36 Deletion Syndrome
The powerful thing about DNA test for pregnancy like NIPT is that this non-invasive genetic test can be administered as early as 10 weeks into the pregnancy and it can be used in twin pregnancies allowing mothers with twins to enjoy the benefit and peace of mind this test can offer.
Not all parents are interested in private genetic testing for their unborn child. The ability to eliminate the need for more invasive testing, though, does make it an attractive alternative for parents with concerns for certain conditions that may require specialized equipment, medical treatments, or additional care once the baby is born.