Preconception Carrier Screening
Preconception Carrier Screening is a screening option, available for a woman planning to become pregnant that allows her doctor to identify conditions, which have the potential to adversely impact the health of her foetus (developing baby) in the future. This is done at a point in time when the woman can have the widest range of personal and reproductive choices and helps to predict the possibility of having a child with a genetic disorder.
An important step in such tests is identification of a carrier (a person with either mild or no symptoms of the disorder, but capable of passing on the disorder to his or her child through a gene). This involves genetic counselling and laboratory testing of blood or saliva. In genetic counselling, a genetic counsellor goes through your family medical history, which helps him to determine if your baby is likely to have a genetic disorder based on the following:
- A history of genetic disorders runs in your family
- You have a genetic disorder
- You already have a child with a genetic disorder
- Your race or ethnicity
A preconception carrier test lets you know whether you and/or your partner are carriers of a disease, and helps you to make important pregnancy-related decisions. If you are a carrier, you may decide to get pregnant with the option of considering prenatal diagnosis (diagnosis of abnormalities), use In vitro fertilization or even choose not to become pregnant.