Cystic-Fibrosis or CF is a genetic disorder which is caused due to presence of abnormal genes. CF is a recessive genetic disorder. The best way of treating genetic disorder is by way of prevention through earlier screening. CF is not curable so screening both the parents for the presence of abnormal gene before planning conception is the ideal way of preventing cystic fibrosis. Sometimes CF is discovered in the developing fetus and in such cases the best advice will be as per the doctor’s consultation. Read on to know more about the need for Cystic Fibrosis tests before planning conception.
At the onset it is necessary to understand what Cystic-Fibrosis or CF is all about. This is a lifelong disease that has the potential to affect all the organs of the body. It initially affects the breathing and digestive mechanism and does not render any impact on the physical appearance or mental faculty of the affected person.
But CF can shorten the life span of the individual. This makes it all the more important for women to get their CF testing done before contemplating conception. Since it can be successfully diagnosed in the early years of the child’s life, it is easier for the physicians to medicate the kid back to health. But keeping in mind the acuteness of the negative impact, it is advisable to try to ensure that the kid is born and lives a healthy life.
How is Cystic-Fibrosis Dangerous?
Cystic-Fibrosis is basically a genetic disorder which has its roots in abnormal genes. The child gets this disease when the genes are passed on from his parents. This is a recessive disorder and when the child is born with it, it means that both its parents have had a copy of the abnormal gene. Any parent can be the carrier of the abnormal gene and this makes it important that both the parents undergo the Cystic-Fibrosis test so as to ascertain that there is no likelihood of passing the genetic disorder to their offspring.
When both the parents happen to be carriers of Cystic-Fibrosis, the child has about 25% possibility of contacting the disease.
How is the Cystic-Fibrosis Test Done?
The Cystic-Fibrosis finds out whether the individual is a carrier or not and the test is conducted on a sample of blood or saliva. As said earlier, it is very important to note that both the parents need to be carriers in order for the child to develop this disease. So, the test needs to be undertaken by both the mother and father. The CF test determines whether the baby would contact the disease or is at a risk of developing the disease at a later stage because one of his parents is a carrier.
If a parent is tested to be a carrier, it entails that he or she has just one of the abnormal CF gene and does not display any Cystic-Fibrosis symptom. So if one parent is a carrier, none of the offspring are likely to develop this disease. But there is a fair chance that the child can grow up to be a symptomless carrier later in his life.
Options While Planning Pregnancy
Cystic-Fibrosis does not have any cure. Usually the results of the tests are obtained before planning of the conception and still there can be situations where the doctor discovers that the developing fetus is having Cystic-Fibrosis. The option then is to continue with the pregnancy. The couple then needs to go with the fact that they have to raise a child with Cystic-Fibrosis and therefore get themselves braced with all the relevant medical and treatment options regarding the disease. The other option is to terminate the pregnancy and this should always be after due consultation with the doctor.
What Happens in Cystic-Fibrosis?
The severity and type of the symptoms of people having Cystic-Fibrosis can be extremely varied. Usually people having Cystic-Fibrosis produce dense, sticky mucus within their bodies. As the mucus gradually builds up, they clog the lungs and the person finds it hard to breathe leading to infection. At a later stage the digestive mechanism also gets affected and the body is unable to absorb essential nutrients from daily diet. Further, most men suffering from Cystic-Fibrosis, end up becoming sterile.