Prenatal DNA testing is seen by some as a major taboo and by others as just another task and test of pregnancy. For those truly invested in the health of their pregnancy, prenatal DNA testing should be consider an important and beneficial tool.
Prenatal DNA testing allows you the opportunity to better plan for your future family. With the proper knowledge, you can access the appropriate resources, make sure you have adequate support, and have the time needed to create a stronger family plan.
Choosing whether or not to have prenatal DNA testing is a personal choice, and not every woman necessarily needs to have testing – although it is recommended. Young women with no histories of genetic abnormalities can typically avoid prenatal DNA testing. However, there are several categories of women who should activity seek prenatal DNA testing. Women who should receive a prenatal DNA test include:
Advanced Age Pregnancies
Women who are having an advanced age pregnancy are women who are 35 and older and pregnant. Although women 35 and older can and do regularly have healthy pregnancies, they are still consider a high risk pregnancy. Advanced age pregnancies are more prone to having fetal chromosomal abnormalities which can lead to the prevalence of trisomy 21, trisomy 18, or trisomy 13. Trisomy 21, which is the most common, is the cause of Down syndrome.
By having a prenatal DNA test completed, you can know ahead of time whether or not your child will have special needs, and make the necessary arrangement in advance to insure a higher quality of life.
Women with Positive Serum Screenings
A serum screening is a blood test that is usually performed during the first or second trimester of pregnancy and let’s women know if they are at risk for an abnormal pregnancy. Although these tests are strong indicators of an abnormal pregnancy, they do not provide information that is as accurate as the results of a prenatal DNA test. If you receive positive serum screening results, you should contact your local physician to administer a prenatal DNA test to verify the screenings results.
Those with Abnormal Familial Histories
Do genetic abnormalities run in your family? Do they run in your partner’s family? If either you or your partner have a family tree containing genetic abnormalities, it is important to have a prenatal DNA test. Genetic abnormalities are usually hereditary which means that even if you or your partner are not physically or mentally presenting the abnormality, you could still potentially pass it down to your offspring who may present it.
Don’t let fear rule you. Prenatal DNA testing is an empowering tool that can help you create a more rewarding life for both you and your unborn child. Without testing, you may be blindsided with health concerns and parenting skills that you are not prepared for. To make sure that parenthood starts off as smoothly as possible, take all the necessary precautions possible. Seek prenatal DNA testing, and better prepare for your new little one with knowledge serving as your positive guide.