Prenatal genetic testing refers to ultrasound exams, blood tests, and diagnostic procedures that can be done during pregnancy. This testing looks for some of the most common genetic conditions that can affect a fetus. These include Down syndrome, heart defects, spina bifida, and others.
Even though most pregnancies lead to the birth of healthy babies, about 1 in 25 babies (4%) is born with a congenital anomaly or genetic condition. An anomaly is a change from what is expected. Congenital means it happened before birth. An anomaly can be a change in appearance and/or function that often requires medical care.
Congenital anomalies and genetic conditions can range from mild to severe. Some parents want to know during pregnancy if their baby will be born with one of these conditions. Finding out during pregnancy gives a parent more time to prepare for the care of a child with special needs or to make important decisions.
The Genetic Education Modules (GEM) explain testing options for the most common genetic conditions and congenital anomalies. There are several types of tests. Each works a little differently and gives different information.
GEM reviews the testing options, the conditions they look for, and things to think about in deciding about testing. To begin, click REGISTER below.