Prenatal Genetic Screening

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Genetic testing has become more common as increasing numbers of women are becoming pregnant after the age of 35. From a womans mid-thirties through her forties, the chance for abnormalities increases dramatically. Dr. Edward Hill discusses prenatal genetic screening in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Prenatal genetic screening tests can determine whether your baby is at risk of a genetic disorder, such as Down syndrome.

Genetic disorders happen when your baby has abnormalities in the chromosomes or when there are problems with the brain or spine.

Some screening tests are done in the first trimester of pregnancy, and some are done in the second trimester. Your doctor may have you tested in both trimesters.

There are two tests that can say for sure if your baby has a genetic disorder. One test is called amniocentesis. This is when the doctor uses a needle to take a small sample of fluid from the bag of water around the baby. The other test is called chorionic villus sampling. This is when the doctor uses a needle to take a small sample of tissue from the placenta.

If the screening shows that your baby has a genetic disorder or is at risk of a genetic disorder, talk to your doctor about your options.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.