Should You Have Genetic Testing Before Choosing to Become Pregnant?

Medical advancements have made it possible to learn more about our genetic makeup, including what diseases are hereditary. If you are considering starting a family, there are tests that can be used to predict the chance of your baby being born with certain diseases. It is a very personal choice to decide whether to undergo genetic testing before deciding to try to conceive. However, it can offer information that can be beneficial before trying to start a family.

Pre-conception Genetic Testing

There are certain diseases that are passed on to babies from their parents. This means their parents are carriers of the disease, even if they do not have the disease themselves. Some of the common hereditary diseases are cystic fibrosis, sickle cell disease, Tay-Sachs disease and thalassemia. Some diseases are limited to certain ethnic groups. If both parents are carriers of the disease, their child has a 25% chance of getting the disease.

Pre-conception genetic testing can inform couples whether they are carriers of any of these hereditary diseases. If only one is a carrier or neither has the genetic marker, than they know that their child will not be born with certain diseases. If both are carriers, they can make the decision on how they wish to proceed. Depending on the severity of the disease, they may decide not to risk conceiving a child together and instead look at alternatives such as egg or sperm donation or adoption.

If you have hereditary diseases that run in you or your partner’s family, you may decide that you want to know the risk to your child of having the disease. A qualified OB/GYN clinic that offers pre-conception genetic testing can perform the screening and offer options based on your results.

Posted on behalf of
North Point OB/GYN Associates
1505 Northside Boulevard #3500
Cumming, GA 30041
(770) 886-3555