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Prenatal Genetic Testing

Many of the common disorders are associated withthe genes. Genetic testing was primarily developed to diagnose and preventserious genetic disorders. Obstetric medicine performs the testing in pregnantwomen and their babies. The term prenatal testing refers to the tests forcertain medical conditions in embryos or fetuses, before the childbirth.

The main focus of these prenatal testing is to establish geneticproblems, regardless theirs severity. Prenatal test can reveal the gender of achild, but doctors are also able to diagnose: Down syndrome, chromosome anomaliesand neural tube defect. Some other health problems can be predicted withcertainty, too, such as thalassemia, cystic fibrosis, spina bifida, cleftpalate, or Tay-Sachs disease.

There are several different methods for prenatal screening. Someare not invasive at all while others are. Non-invasive techniques include testsfor: pre-implantation genetic disorders,fetal cells in maternal blood, and also external examination, fetal heartbeat and ultrasound.

Other methods are more or less invasive, and doctors mayperform: triple test, trophoblast cells, umbilical cord blood and chorionicvillus sampling, detection of fetal blood cells in maternal blood, amniocentesis, embryoscopy and fetoscopy.

For Prenatal Testing

Probably the best reason to do prenatal genetic test is todiscover the health condition of your baby.

Women tend to give birth of their first child in their 30sand 40s these days. These women have much greater risk of having a baby withsome genetic problems. Down syndrome is particularly well studied. The studies revealed that if the mother of anunborn child is at the age of 20, the risk of chromosomal abnormality leadingto this medical condition is 1 in every 500 born babies. For the women in her30s the risk is 1 to 200, and for pregnant women in their 40s the risk goes upto 1 of 65.

Prenatal testing is the routine way (ultrasound) to discoverthe sex of your child.

Discovering the abnormality in the growth and development ofyour child might be another reason for the testing.

Against Genetic Testing

Advocates against prenatal test say that there might be somemoral (and perhaps legal) consequences after the test results. Women or parentswho find out that their child suffers from a genetic problem are faces with thehard decision – keep the baby or abort. Problem is less obvious when thecondition is treatable, but more prominent once it isn’t.

Some couples having problems with infertility use the IVFtechnology. The reason for many debates, both private and public, is shouldthese couples be able to choose the gender and certain physical qualities oftheir future kids. After that step, claim the advocates against genetic testing,children will be born without any physical faults and with pre-destined colorof the eyes, height and weight.

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