If you are currently pregnant, or considering becoming pregnant, you may wonder if there is any reason you and your partner should undergo genetic testing to make sure the baby won’t be predisposed to any genetic disorders. There are many difficult genetic disorders and knowing your family predisposition might affect your decision to have a child, the manner by which you add a child to your family, or just so that you know the risks.
Genetic disorders manifest when a child receives a gene for the disorder from one or both parents. This can be a dominant or recessive gene, depending on the trait. It can be that both parents carry a recessive gene and when the child receives two, it manifests itself. An example of this is when both fair-haired parents carry a gene for Albinism. A child can be born a full, or partial albino. This means that the child will lack a normative level of pigment, but also be predisposed to other medical issues such as seizures. While the parents may not know they carry this gene during an initial pregnancy, it might be beneficial to be tested before a subsequent pregnancy to calculate the risks of another child inheriting the Albinism.
Other disorders that genetic testing can test for are cystic fibrosis, Tay Sachs, and thalassemia.
If you know, or suspect that there is a genetic disorder in your gene pool, and are interested in learning more about genetic testing, either before or during a pregnancy, call Women to Women for a gynecology and obstetrics appointment.