Genetic testing, also known as genetic screening, is a process in which medical professionals collect information about an individual’s genetic makeup. This information is used to assess the potential for the development of diseases or disorders based on an individual’s family history and other factors. For example, genetic testing is often used to identify individuals who may be at a higher risk for certain types of cancer, including breast cancer, ovarian cancer, colorectal cancer, prostate cancer, and pancreatic cancer. In addition to these cancers, genetic testing can also help doctors evaluate individuals who are at increased risk for heart disease and other medical conditions.
Should I Have Genetic Testing Performed While Pregnant?
Your obstetrician and gynecologist may recommend genetic testing for you if you:
- Have a personal or family history of cancer, especially breast, ovary or colon cancer
- Have close relatives with the same type of cancer as part of your family history
- Are carrying more than one baby at a time (like twins or triplets), or have multiples in your family (such as brothers and sisters) who were born very early in life, had severe birth defects, or died shortly after birth.
What Other Tests May Be Performed?
If you do decide to undergo genetic testing while pregnant, it is important to keep the following additional tests in mind.
Your healthcare provider will likely order a blood test to assess your genetic risk factors. This blood sample will contain a small amount of your baby’s DNA, which can be studied for potential abnormalities that may contribute to certain conditions or diseases later on in life.
In some cases, you may also undergo amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling (CVS) as part of the genetic testing process. These tests involve collecting and analyzing fetal cells from either your amniotic fluid or placenta in order to get a more accurate picture of your unborn child’s genetic makeup.
Learn More About Genetic Testing Today
If you are considering genetic testing and live in The Woodlands, TX, call the professionals at Woodlands OBGYN Associates today at 281-364-9898 to request a consultation visit and initial evaluation. Our team can help determine if genetic testing would be beneficial prior to childbirth.