Published on July 6th, 2020 | by admin


Reasons Why You Need Genetic Carrier Screening

If you’re thinking about starting a family, it is important to plan ahead. In addition to designing the nursery, coming up with a list of names, and attending childbirth classes, you must also take your baby’s health into account when planning for the future.

Genetic disorders occur in about 1 of every 33 births. Genetic carrier screening can provide helpful insights about your growing baby.

What Is Genetic Carrier Screening?

Genetic carrier screening is a type of genetic test that is used to determine whether or not you carry a gene (or genes) for a particular genetic disorder.

Some genetic disorders require two genes, while others only require one. If you’re a genetic carrier, it means that you carry at least one gene for a particular disorder.

Being a carrier doesn’t necessarily mean your child will have the genetic disorder associated with the gene, but it may increase their risk. Genetic carrier screening helps you stay informed.

Why Is Genetic Carrier Screening Helpful?

Genetic carrier screening is helpful because it can inform you about potentially serious health problems that can affect your growing baby. These include things like cystic fibrosis, spinal muscular dystrophy, and hemoglobinopathies.

Genetic carrier screenings can also test for disorders based on your family history and ethnicity. Certain ethnic groups, such as African Americans and Ashkenazi Jews are more likely to have children with genetic disorders like sickle cell disease and Tay-Sachs disease.

The more you know about your carrier status, the easier it is to make informed decisions for your child and family.

What Can You Learn From Genetic Carrier Screening?

Genetic carrier screening can determine your risk of passing a genetic disorder to your child and provide you with the information that you need to adequately prepare.

Some of the conditions that genetic carrier screening can test for include:

  • Fragile X syndrome
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Thalassemia
  • Familial dysautonomia

How Do I Choose The Type Of Genetic Carrier Screening That’s Right For Me?

Only a qualified medical professional can determine the type of genetic carrier screening that’s right for you. Following a physical exam and a discussion of your family history, your OB/GYN, general practitioner, or genetic counselor can make a recommendation.

There are two types of genetic carrier screenings––targeted carrier screenings and expanded carrier screenings. The type you’ll most benefit from depends on several factors. Your provider might recommend one screening procedure instead of the other, or they might recommend you undergo both.

What Can I Do If I’m A Carrier For A Particular Disorder?

Just because you or your partner is a carrier doesn’t mean that your child will inherit the disorder. If you’re already pregnant, your OB/GYN, general practitioner, or genetic counselor might recommend prenatal testing.

Planning a family is a lot of work, but genetic carrier screening can make it much easier. To learn more about the benefits, contact your OB/GYN, general practitioner, or genetic counselor today.


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