Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Prenatal Testing: Earlier and More Accurate Than Ever

During the first trimester of pregnancy, expecting parents can determine what the gender is of their baby and whether there are any abnormalities they need to learn about before the baby arrives. Over the past few years, parents have been able to determine their child’s paternity and sex with a maternal blood test. A new blood test is able to determine if there are distinct chromosomal abnormalities as early as nine weeks into the pregnancy.

How it Works

Within the mother’s blood, there are small amounts of her unborn baby’s DNA. When that DNA is extracted, a mapping process of the human gene can help predict a number of conditions and traits that bring the baby’s makeup together. Once the genetic link is located, there is no reason why a test should not be able to detect the problem.

Misuse of Technology

As this technology enters into the world, people tend to use it for the wrong reasons. One of those reasons is that people will use the technology to abort children who are not of the gender they desire. Even though the tests to determine chromosomal abnormalities are not for determining the gender of the baby, it can be difficult to miss the gender component when reviewing the DNA. Parents have the option to opt out of receiving that information.

Different Chromosomal Abnormalities

Out of the different chromosomal abnormalities that the test can detect, two of those have an extremely low rate of survival. In situations where the baby has trisomy 18 or trisomy 13, the fatality rate is extremely high. Half of all those with trisomy 18 do not live past their first week or life, if they make it to term at all. Eighty percent of those with trisomy 13 do not survive long enough to reach their first birthday. Earlier testing provides the parents with the necessary time to prepare for the unfortunate outcome that awaits them.
Trisomy 13 and monosomy X are not all a guaranteed death sentence. Although there are different mental and physical challenges associated with these chromosomal abnormalities, numerous groups exist to help individuals understand what they are dealing with and how to help them have a life that is fulfilling and rewarding. Some people are frustrated at the rising cost of paying for this testing. The only preventative method for trisomy 21 is that of abortion. It is understandable why people are concerned with discriminating against those that have this abnormality. Since it is the most common form of a chromosomal abnormality in babies, it is something that many parents already understand. Parents deserve as much information as possible about the situation they are facing.
The last abnormality is an extra chromosome in males. Even though some individuals will end up with language impairments, many men do not realize they even have this problem. Being aware of the condition can help the individual receive the intervention required from an early age. It is difficult to determine how an individual child will be affected until later on down the road.

Image Credit: trevhunter
Derek often likes to blog about parenthood and child care. When he is not blogging, he enjoys spending time with his family and coaching his son's football team. The article above is for uk paternity test.
Attached Images: License: Creative Commons image source 


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