The diagnostic procedures that are conducted during pregnancy help in ascertaining the health of the fetus, as well as the mother-to-be. During this time, genetic testing might also be recommended for screening the fetus for certain diseases that are caused due to the abnormalities in the genes. This article provides information on these tests.
Blood tests, urinalysis, and ultrasound imaging are some of the diagnostic tests and procedures that are conducted on a regular basis during pregnancy. Often, physicians also recommend the mother-to-be to undergo genetic testing. While the routine tests are basically conducted to know the health status of the mother to-be and the baby, the genetic tests basically involve the detailed study of the genotype of the mom and the baby.
|Genetic Tests during Pregnancy||Principle Involved|
|Maternal Serum Screening||Blood testing for the diagnosis of Down’s Syndrome or Spina Bifada|
|Amniocentesis||Studying the genetic problems in babies using the amniotic fluid|
|Chronic Villus Sampling||Studying the genetic problems in babies using the placental tissue and thus DNA testing|
|Cystic Fibrosis Testing||Undertaken only if there is a family history of cystic fibrosis|
An important thing to understand is that these are screening tests that help ascertain the risk of the fetus having certain birth defects. However, some ethical issues are also associated with this type of testing. For instance, these tests might not be approved by their respective religions and countries. Moreover, there are very few health centers that might provide this facility. Many pregnant women might not want to undergo these tests, as these might involve the use of needles.
Pros and Cons
These tests have always been very accurate, as chromosome testing gives the exact genetic traits of the baby. Also, the tests involve the use of expensive infrastructure, chemicals, and devices owing to which the results can never be estimated wrongly. As per the statistics, genetic testing is conducted for the identification and diagnosis of some congenital defects or diseases. For instance, if the tests indicate an abnormality, and the child would be born with a fatal genetic disorder, the medical termination of pregnancy can be considered.
Apart from the aforementioned ethical issues, an important reason to avoid such a test is the state of the mind of the couple. Some of the tests might be invasive in nature, and there could be a risk of infection, bleeding, or even the loss of pregnancy.
Though some women might want to avoid going through the stress and depression associated with such a test and the results, of course, it is advisable to undergo such tests, especially if you have a family history of genetic disorders.