Prenatal Genetic Screening- Why It Is Important!

    Prenatal Genetic Screening- Why It Is Important!

    Shruti Mathur

    When a woman/ couple gets to know that she is pregnant, it brings about excitement as well as concerns. At one point, it is joyous and beautiful and next point, it is curiosity to know more about thorough checkups, appointments and to get best for baby’s health.


    During pregnancy, range of tests can be availed ranging from blood sampling to ultrasounds. Each test provides with specific reports which will guide in health status of mother and the development of the baby in womb. Certain tests are not mandatory, however are offered to provide best care by the healthcare team. One can discuss in detail with a concerned specialist to get more information about these tests.


    One choice of tests provided to expecting mothers/ couple are – genetic tests. It covers multiple screening/ diagnostic options which are discussed thoroughly.


    Basic prenatal genetic screening involves a combination of ultrasounds and blood sample of mother to predict risk of common genetic conditions. These tests are not confirmatory and provides with chances of baby in womb to have specific genetic health issues. The couple is also guided for further tests to confirm the same. If the baby is confirmed for certain genetic condition, parents are counselled and discussed options for the future. The tests are conducted at specific weeks of pregnancy.


    It is extremely important to understand the genetic test offered, linked advantages and disadvantages, possible outcomes and further management associated.


    As stated at the start, one confirms with pregnancy, they can schedule a consultation/ session with a genetic counsellor to get a personalized assessment and guidance on available genetic tests.


     When to meet a genetic counsellor?


    • If there is a family history of any specific condition
    • If mother’s age is 35 or above at the time of pregnancy
    • Recurrent miscarriages
    • Previous child with suspected/ diagnosed with a health condition
    • Any indication by ultrasound or other tests during pregnancy


    It is always okay to ask questions!


    Discussing and clearing your doubts helps one to understand more about your care. It is your right to make an informed decision.


    Get in touch with a genetic counsellor near you!


    A genetic counsellor is a trained healthcare expert who analysis your personal and family health history and assesses your risk of having genetic condition. They provide with ‘complicated –information- made-easy’ on genetics so, it’s easier to understand. This information enables you to make informed decisions on genetic tests. Further, they help in understanding the result and course of action you might take based on the report.

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