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Pregnant women who are not certain who the father of their baby is, and men who wish to find out if a baby who is still in utero is their child, both have reason enough to want to carry out DNA testing to establish paternity at the earliest possible point. That leads to the question whether DNA tests are possible during the prenatal stage. The answer is yes, there are several possible methods. Let's take a look at options for prenatal DNA testing.

1. Amniocentesis

We have written about amniocentesis extensively on the SteadyHealth before, so feel free to search for more information about it. During an amniocentesis, a needle is inserted through a pregnant woman's abdomen into her uterus to take a sample of amniotic fluid. This gives a lot of information, but is most commonly carried out to diagnose birth defects and chromosomal abnormalities. Through this procedure, you can also find out the baby's gender and DNA. It is a reliable prenatal DNA testing option a sample is certainly obtained in this way but the procedure is not without risks, including miscarriage and pre-term labor. Read our previous article, Amniocentesis what are the risks? to find out more. This certainly has to be taken into account before making a decision.

2. Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS)

This less well-known procedure involves taking chorionic villi cells from the placenta, where it attaches to the uterine wall. This can be done trans-cervically, in other words through the cervix, or through the abdomen like with an amniocentesis. The procedure can be used from around 10 weeks into a pregnancy and onwards to establish paternity. But, like amniocentesis, the CVS procedure does carry risks as well, and it is not recommended for women who already have placental issues, who are expecting twins, or who have sexually transmitted diseases.

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