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4 Myths About Prenatal Testing Explored

Prenatal screenings and tests are becoming more common among couples expecting a child in order to monitor the health of their baby. Prenatal testing is the process of monitoring the health of the developing fetus and analyzing the risk that he/she will be born with a chromosomal abnormality, such as Down syndrome, or an inherited disorder, such as cystic fibrosis.

Although these tests have proven to be very useful for many couples, there are some commonly believed myths surrounding prenatal testing. Below, we discuss and debunk some of these myths.

Myth #1: You Have to Be Pregnant to Get Prenatal Testing

There are various prenatal screenings and tests that can be performed throughout pregnancy. In addition to these tests, there is also some information that can be obtained from a couple, even when a woman is not pregnant.

Genetic carrier screening is a noninvasive, optional blood test for you and your partner that indicates whether you carry a genetic mutation that may result in your child developing a genetic condition that can affect his/her health. This test can be performed at any time before, during, or after pregnancy. However, it’s preferred that this test is done before conception so that couples have time to discuss alternative fertility options and/or to make informed decisions about pregnancy care.

Myth #2: Every Pregnancy Needs Prenatal Genetic Testing

Prenatal genetic testing is most often recommended to women who have a high risk of giving birth to a child with a chromosomal disorder or an inherited genetic disorder. It is important to know that prenatal genetic testing is optional and each couple has the choice to either opt for or forego testing.

  • Women have a higher risk of giving birth to a child with a chromosomal disorder if they:
  • Are of advanced maternal age of 35 years or older
  • Have previously given birth to a child with a chromosomal disorder
  • Women have a higher risk of giving birth to a child with an inherited genetic disorder if they:
  • And their partner have tested positive as a genetic carrier of a specific genetic disorder
  • Have previously given birth to a child with a genetic disorder
  • Have a family history of an inherited genetic disorder

Myth #3: Prenatal Genetic Testing is Only For Couples Considering Abortion

There are various reasons why couples choose to undergo prenatal testing. Some of the most common reasons couples want to know more about the health of their child include:

  • Wanting to know if their child has a chromosomal or genetic disorder
  • Wanting time to learn about the genetic disorder
  • Wanting more time to plan for any necessary medical care the child may need

Myth #4: Prenatal Testing is Risky for My Baby

There are prenatal screening tests that are noninvasive and either require a blood draw or an ultrasound image. Prenatal diagnostic testing is more invasive. When performed within the recommended timeline, these tests pose a very small risk to the child and/or very slightly increase the risk of miscarriage. Additionally, scientists are not entirely sure if miscarriages that occur after amniocentesis or CVS are actually caused by the procedure, or if the miscarriage occurred due to other pregnancy-related complications.

Do You Have Questions About Prenatal Testing?

If you are planning a pregnancy, or are currently pregnant, and have questions regarding prenatal testing, talk to your doctor or with a genetic counselor.

Sources:

https://health.clevelandclinic.org/2013/02/5-myths-about-prenatal-screening/
http://www.whatshesaidradio.com/what-she-said/debunking-the-myths-of-prenatal-testing/
http://www.whallc.com/wellness-and-education/wellness-journal/wendy-busch/2011/01/19/Prenatal_Genetic_Screening_Myths_and_Misconceptions.aspx
https://www.babycenter.com/0_carrier-screening-for-inherited-genetic-disorders_1453030.bc
http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/fertility/resources/genetic_screening.html
https://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Prenatal-Genetic-Screening-Tests
https://www.thebump.com/a/is-cvs-amnio-dangerous



Becky Wilcox is a freelance writer who enjoys writing about beauty, fashion, technology and more.  She writes for Life with Lisa as well as several other blogs and websites.  Check back soon for more from Becky.

Sources:

https://health.clevelandclinic.org/2013/02/5-myths-about-prenatal-screening/
http://www.whatshesaidradio.com/what-she-said/debunking-the-myths-of-prenatal-testing/
http://www.whallc.com/wellness-and-education/wellness-journal/wendy-busch/2011/01/19/Prenatal_Genetic_Screening_Myths_and_Misconceptions.aspx
https://www.babycenter.com/0_carrier-screening-for-inherited-genetic-disorders_1453030.bc
http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/fertility/resources/genetic_screening.html
https://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Prenatal-Genetic-Screening-Tests
https://www.thebump.com/a/is-cvs-amnio-dangerous

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