The Ins and Outs of Genetic Disease Testing
What is preconception genetic testing?
Preconception genetic testing is available to all couples before they begin the pregnancy process. With preconception genetic testing, a couple can order specific tests to find out if either has a genetic condition that will increase the risk for passing an inherited disease to their children. In some of these cases, a parent could be a carrier for a disease even though they do not have the genetic illness themselves. Some examples of genetic diseases that can be passed from parent to child are cystic fibrosis, Tay-Sachs or sickle cell disease.
The results of the genetic tests provide health information that may be helpful when planning pregnancy and fertility care.
How is genetic disease testing done?
Preconception genetic disease testing can be done either through testing blood or saliva. As a part of the testing process, Dr. James Douglas may also ask you questions about your family health history and ethnicity.
Who should be tested?
Preconception genetic testing is an option for all parents-to-be who want to ensure they will have a healthy baby. However, these tests are especially recommended for certain patients.
Those with a family history of particular health conditions that might be passed on to their children will want to make sure that they know about any genetic disorders they carry before they begin the conception process. Those with certain ethnic backgrounds might also be encouraged to seek genetic testing.
In addition, Dr. James Douglas recommends that women with a history of recurrent miscarriage should consider preconception genetic testing to help plan their next steps in fertility treatment.
Sperm and egg donors are routinely tested to give as much information possible so hopeful parents can make the best reproductive choices for their family.
Options to treat a detected genetic illness:
If the genetic testing reveals that one or both parents have a genetic health condition, there are a few different options to choose from in the IVF process.
Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis or PGD
Genetic screening can be performed on each embryo before implantation. PGD allows Dr. Douglas to find the embryos that are not affected by genetic illness. This information can help choose which embryos will most likely lead to children without inheritable genetic disease.
Donor Eggs and Sperm
Some couples with genetic disorders may elect to use donor eggs or donor sperm to proceed with IVF.
Call IVF Plano to schedule an appointment to discuss genetic disease testing with Dr. Douglas. Find out what the best options are for your pregnancy plans.