Posted on: 18 June 2020
Genetic screening is a medical test used to examine an individual's DNA. It can predict or diagnose various illnesses. Below is a comprehensive guide on genetic screening.
Who Should Consider Genetic Testing?
There are several reasons to conduct genetic testing. Some of them include:
- Some couples conduct genetic screening to know if it is safe to conceive through natural methods.
- A pregnant mother can ask for genetic screening to tell whether the foetus has a genetic disorder. It helps her decide whether or not to keep the pregnancy.
- Parents can request a doctor to conduct genetic screening on their newborn. Some diseases, such as phenylketonuria can be treated at this stage.
- People that would want to conceive through in-vitro fertilisation can conduct pre-implantation screening to know if the embryo is at risk of a genetic disorder.
- If your family has a history of a genetic disease such as sickle cell anaemia or fibrosis, you can ask for a genetic test to know whether you have the disease. Instant medication can help slow down its effects.
- Some insurance companies may ask you to go for genetic screening before taking medical insurance. It helps them calculate insurance premiums.
The Genetic Screening Process
If you would want to conduct genetic screening, your first task is to look for a reputable clinic that performs the procedure. Ask your doctor for a referral or check the internet to identify suitable clinics in your locality. The genetic screening process begins with genetic counselling. Typically, the professional will ask some questions to understand your medical history and that of your family. Once the doctor learns your family tree, they may ask you to tell some of your relatives to go for genetic screening. It will help them know they have the illness. They will then educate you about genetic screening. For instance, the process can predict a particular outcome. However, it is a possibility, not a guarantee.
The doctor will need a sample of body tissue to conduct genetic screening. It may range from hair, blood, saliva, amniotic fluid or skin. The sample goes to the laboratory for testing. Here, the professional will examine the chromosomes and DNA for any anomalies. Your doctor will interpret the lab results and advise you on the available options.
Genetic screening will help you know whether you are at risk of a particular genetic illness. Screening should be conducted by licenced and experienced professionals. Check whether your insurance cover caters for the costs of genetic screening.Share