Preconception genetic testing for hopeful parents
Many hopeful parents are concerned about passing down an undiscovered genetic illness to their children. Genetic testing can help you understand your risk of having a baby with a genetic illness, so you can make informed decisions as you grow your family. Today, state-of-the-art carrier screening in Nashville makes it possible to get your results quickly and easily.
Carrier screening, performed by our laboratory partner Ovation Genetics is a simple blood or saliva test that can detect whether a man or woman is a carrier of any genetic disorders.
How genetic testing works
Normally, every person inherits two copies of each gene in their DNA – one from each parent. A person who has just one abnormal copy of a gene, paired with a normal copy, is a carrier and can pass that defect down to his or her children. Many carriers never have any symptoms of genetic illness, which is why many genetic abnormalities go undetected until after a baby is born with the illness. Carrier screening in Nashville finds those abnormalities before conception occurs.
When a child inherits two abnormal copies of the same gene – one from each parent – he or she will be affected by the genetic disease specific to that gene. When both parents are carriers of the same autosomal recessive condition, the chances of their child being affected by that disease are as high as 25%. The odds of the baby also being an asymptomatic carrier are 50%. Just 25% of babies born to two carriers will be entirely unaffected.
It’s very common for babies with genetic illnesses to be born into families that have no history of that genetic disorder, so the only way to determine your risk is to have genetic testing.
Carrier screening can detect many of the most common genetic illnesses that can cause lifelong health issues.
- Tay Sachs disease
- Cystic fibrosis
- Spinal muscular atrophy
- Sickle cell disease
- Fragile X syndrome
If your tests reveal that you and your partner are both carriers of a genetic disease, your fertility specialist may recommend IVF with preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). With this type of genetic testing, our IVF laboratory will remove a few cells from each embryo and send them to a genetics lab for advanced testing. Then, only those embryos without the genetic defect can be selected for transfer, breaking the chain of heritable illness in your family line.
Contact us to get tested
We recommend carrier screening in Nashville for all hopeful parents prior to trying to conceive because it is an affordable test that offers immense peace of mind, and it is recommended by the American College of Medical Genetics and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. A genetic counselor will be available to help you understand your test results and plan your next steps.
To learn more about genetic testing, contact us and ask about carrier screening through Ovation Genetics.