Pregnant women are routinely offered a range of genetic screening tests during the first three months of pregnancy to help assess the risk of any genetic disorders being present in their unborn baby.
The screening tests usually take place between the 10th and 13th week of the first trimester and will often involve measuring the level of substances in the mother’s blood and conducting an ultrasound. Genetic screening tests can also take place during the second trimester of pregnancy.
The information found from genetic screening, as well as other risk factors such as a couple’s age and family history, are used to help calculate the odds that the baby may be born with genetic disorders. There are multiple benefits to genetic screening during pregnancy, of which we have outlined below.
Many women opt for genetic screening during pregnancy to find out whether their unborn baby is at risk of genetic disorders. It isn’t unusual for parents to have suppressed genetic disorders, which can pass down to the baby during pregnancy. The genetic disorders unborn babies may be susceptible to include down syndrome, cystic fibrosis and sickle cell anaemia.
Genetic screening results allow parents enough time to prepare for the birth of their unborn child. Looking after children with genetic defects can be difficult, and you may decide to set up a fund for their future. You should think about attending support groups and speak to family members who will be able to help you. Do your research on your unborn baby’s condition and you should be ready and prepared for their arrival.
Bringing up a child with genetic defects is a difficult and strenuous task. Often, the genetic disorder that has been detected can be extremely severe and will require expensive treatment for your child’s entire lifetime or can dramatically decrease your child’s life expectancy. After taking everything into consideration, you should allow yourself the choice to make an informed decision about whether to terminate the pregnancy.
At Nurture Fertility, genetic screening is available through a link with Reprogenetics in Oxford. If you would like to discuss the genetic diagnosis options available to you for your IVF cycle, don’t hesitate to get in touch.