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Genetic Testing Topics..

You are here : home > Genetic Testing > Advantages of Genetic Testing > Is Genetic Testing Safe?

Is Genetic Testing Safe?

The safety of genetic testing is a matter of concern for an individual. Genetic testing is completely safe and is an important tool for diagnosing the genetic condition of unborn child. Genetic testing also gives information on genetic configuration of a person which helps in identifying the prospects of being a carrier. The benefits of genetic testing outnumber the small risk involved with it. Read on.

There have been many opinions regarding the safety of genetic testing. One can look into a number of instances that aligns to the effectiveness of this new revolutionary diagnosis and treatment method. Genetic testing is suggested in order to find out whether the said person is a carrier of any genetic condition and is likely to pass on the same to his offspring.

The testing also provides information on the genetic configuration of a person and whether he is likely to contract any genetic disorder even before the appearance of the symptoms. That is it can bring out all hidden information that are relative to the well being of the person and his unborn children. 

Genetic Counseling is Very Important

Before opting for genetic testing it is advisable and rather mandatory for individuals and couple’s to go for genetic counseling. The results of the tests can throw up a few surprises that have the potential to change your life forever. It is a complex process and the ramifications of the results are complex alike. There are a lot of factors encircling you, your spouse and family members at work and you need to be entirely informed about them all. The decision on whether you are going for the genetic test and then how you will deal with the reality of the results depends on how prepared and well-informed you are. A genetic counselor is the person who is best equipped to talk to you about the safety of the testing, both on you and your unborn child.

Safety Equation for Pregnant Women

As regards the safety of genetic testing on pregnant women, there are a few minor hitches. These risks are considered to be a likely outcome and not an assured danger. Prenatal genetic testing is done of pregnant women to find out whether the fetus has any genetic abnormality. It is true that under certain conditions, a miscarriage is a possibility but, what needs to be understood that it is a probable side effect and not a sure-shot outcome.

What are the Safe Options?

According to experts and researchers, CVS and amniocentesis are the two considerably safe options. If a review of an international research is considered, it is discovered that if amniocentesis is carried out in the second trimester that is post sixteen weeks of conception, the risk of miscarriage is one extra in every hundred procedures. While, if the amniocentesis is early that is, carried out in the first semester, it is two extra for every hundred procedure.

Why are the Two Genetic Testing Procedures Risky at All?

Amniocentesis – This technique is widely suggested as it can effectively detect any genetic or chromosomal abnormality. Under a clinical setting a narrow catheter is inserted into the uterus through the abdomen. A small amount of amniotic fluid is drawn out from the amniotic sac and used as a sample for analysis. A risk of miscarriage is there due to the injury caused to the amniotic sac.

CVS – The accuracy rate of Chorionic villus sampling or CVS is similar to that of amniocentesis. The placenta has tiny branchlike projections called the chorionic villi. By the help of an ultrasound a catheter or a thin needle is inserted through the cervix or abdomen depending on the position of the placenta. A sample is then removed for analysis for genetic and chromosomal abnormality. The risk factor is the same as amniocentesis.

Safety assurance

Since both the tests are performed under local anesthesia, there is no pain or discomfort usually experienced. Apart from miscarriage there is a likelihood of maternal infection as a side effect of the tests. But is has been observed that the risk factors gets considerably lowered when the tests are performed by extremely experienced practitioners and the clinical setting has excellent hygienic environment.

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