DNA contains information about a person’s traits or characters which are stored as genes. DNA makes up chromosomes, which are found in pairs. Humans have 46 chromosomes, half from our mother, half from our father. When there are abnormalities in the genes or chromosomes of a fetus, genetic disorders occur. It could lead to chromosomal abnormalities such as Down Syndrome, Patau Syndrome or Edwards Syndrome. The occurrence is random and there is no evidence it is hereditary or caused by environmental factors.
- Exposure to viral infection during pregnancy.
- Family or personal history of birth defects.
- Diabetes before pregnancy.
- Women aged 35 years or older during pregnancy.
- Usage of certain medicines around the time of conception.
- Exposure to harmful agents.
Prenatal testing can help to identify health problems that could endanger both the mother and unborn child, some of which are treatable. Prenatal test is testing for diseases or conditions in a fetus or embryo before it is born. The aim is to detect birth defects such as Down Syndrome, chromosomal abnormalities, Neural Tube Defects and other genetic disorders.
Benefits of prenatal testing:
- Early diagnosis for better management of the pregnancy.
- Advanced knowledge and preparation for the outcome of the pregnancy
- Anticipation of the possible complications related to the birth process
Prenatal tests available:
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