If you follow pop culture, then you may have heard how Chrissy Teigen and John Legend used genetic testing to choose the gender of their baby. While it can identify whether embryos will be male or female, genetic testing is useful for many other reasons, whether a woman is pregnant or not.
Genetic testing is often recommended when a gene mutation is suspected or certain types of cancer run in a family. Pregnant women are routinely offered genetic testing, and it is strongly recommended if there is a family history of genetic diseases.
What does genetic testing look for
Genetic testing is a type of medical test that identifies changes in chromosomes, genes, or proteins. The results of a genetic test can confirm or rule out a suspected genetic condition or help determine a person’s chance of developing or passing on a genetic disorder. In short, it identifies any changes or mutations in a person’s DNA that could lead to genetic diseases like:
- Down syndrome
- Trisomy 13
- Trisomy 18
- Trisomy 21
- Spina bifida and other neural tube defects
- Cystic fibrosis
- Sickle cell anemia
- Muscular dystrophy
- Tay-Sachs disease
How is genetic testing performed?
Genetic tests are performed on a sample of blood, saliva, hair, skin, amniotic fluid (the fluid that surrounds a fetus during pregnancy) or other tissue. In many cases, it can be as easy as swabbing the inside of your cheek. Next, the sample is sent to the lab for analysis. Once the analysis is complete, a process that can take between two to four weeks, your doctor receives your results and shares them with you.
Genetic testing has potential benefits whether the results are positive or negative for a gene mutation. These results can provide a sense of relief from uncertainty and help people make informed decisions about managing their healthcare.
To find out more about advanced genetic testing in Las Vegas, or to schedule an appointment, please call High Risk Pregnancy Center at 702-382-3200.