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Genetic Testing Topics..

You are here : home > Genetic Testing > Advantages of Genetic Testing > Prenatal Testing Pros and Cons

Prenatal Testing Pros and Cons

Genetic testing or prenatal testing has its pros and cons but the pros of prenatal testing outweigh the cons. Genetic testing is an important tool for detecting any genetic abnormalities or disorders in an unborn child. Read on to know more in detail about genetic testing.

Prenatal genetic testing is a revolutionary method that is available to doctors and would-be parents of late. The main objective of this testing is to know whether the parents are carriers of any gene that can potentially cause a genetic abnormality if they happen to combine with a similar gene. First it is important to understand the condition where genetic testing is recommended before we delve into the pros and cons of it.

If the individual has a family history of genetic disease, the doctor always calls for a genetic screening to ascertain the unborn baby does not carry or get affected by the genetic disorder. This is also true for couples who have earlier given birth to a child with genetic disorder. Then if the woman is above 35 years of age, a prenatal genetic test is advised as the child is at a high risk of developing a genetic disorder.

The pros and cons of genetic testing are partly dependent on the effectiveness of the results and partly on the social and ethical issues surrounding this concept. There are several religious, psychological and moral aspects to it as well. It is an ongoing debate and it is thereby advisable to opt for genetic testing only after genetic counseling. A genetic counselor is the best person to inform you with all the relative facts and prepare you for the possible results and then you can effectively judge on the impact that the results of the genetic testing is likely to render on your family and self. Let’s begin with the pros first:

Pros of Genetic Testing

Following are the pros of genetic testing.

Problems Can be Corrected Before the Birth of the Baby

There are certain problems that can be rectified so that the baby is born with a good health and no risk for the future. So once it is known that the fetus is having or is likely to have a genetic defect, the doctors can successfully condition the birth of a healthy child. In cases where a correction in the womb is not possible, a surgery is conducted soon after delivery, which in most cases is a minor one.

Parents Get a Choice

The results of prenatal testing offer the all important choice before the parents that whether they want to terminate or go ahead with the pregnancy. It is sure a vital decision where you get to know that the baby is having a genetic disorder and you decide on the future of the unborn child.

Parents can Prepare

The result of the genetic tests not only offers choice but also prepares the parents regarding the future care and nurturing of a genetically disordered baby. They choose to go ahead with the pregnancy and in the meanwhile collect information on how deal with the situation in future.

Cons of Genetic Testing

Following are the pros of genetic testing.


Those against genetic testing feel that the biggest disadvantage of prenatal testing is the tremendous psychological pressure imposed on the parents. They are in a constant anxiety about the possible results. They tend to get confused about the condition as in the case where a baby is known to carry a mutation, but sometimes the parents may not realise that this does not mean that the baby will contract the genetic disorder too. This point also questions the accuracy of the results.


It is considered as no short of a crime where parents choose to abort a baby after knowing that it has a genetic abnormality. Different religions also have this belief that only God has the right to take away life and it cannot be a human decision.


Prenatal testing is very expensive and thereby cannot be attempted by people with meager means. Further only a handful of insurance companies are ready to cover the expenses of these tests. This leaves couples with limited or no choice at all. 

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