Genetic screening is one of the most outstanding achievements of modern-day medicine. Practitioners can test an individual or a specific population for the predisposition to a particular genetic disorder. By doing so, they can tell the people in danger of developing these conditions, which helps with planning to afford the best medical care. The information can also give insight into the genetic disorder trend, and practitioners can advise patients about the lifestyle changes they need to make.
Undoubtedly, genetic screening is critical for expectant mothers. It tells the parents what to expect concerning their child's predisposition to a genetic disorder. The following discussion sheds more light:
Genetic Screening in the First Trimester
The first trimester refers to the first three months of your pregnancy. It marks the elementary developmental stages of the foetus as your body adapts to housing the developing baby. At this stage, the practitioner can carry out a serum integrated screening or sequential integrated screening test. These tests indicate the amount of plasma protein-A held in your blood. The plasma protein-A is a pregnancy-related protein, and abnormal levels in the blood indicate a high risk of chromosomal abnormality of the foetus. The risk of a genetic disorder is, therefore, very high.
A positive indication of such abnormal chromosome often calls for another test. The doctor will carry out invasive chorionic villus sampling by taking a small sample from the placenta for examination and confirmation.
Genetic Screening in the Second Trimester
Screening in the second trimester involves more detailed ultrasounds, often referred to as a foetal anatomical survey. The practitioner examines the baby thoroughly from the head to the toes for any abnormal developmental features. Besides, a quad marker screening test comes in at this stage to assess the risk of carrying a baby that will have Down syndrome. Glucose screening follows to check for gestational diabetes, a disorder that can develop when you are pregnant. Lastly, you should also undergo amniocentesis to check the health of the foetal cells surrounding the unborn baby. These cells share a genetic composition with your baby's cells. Your baby is at risk of developing a genetic disorder if these cells trend in that direction.
Genetic Screening in the Third Trimester
The tests done in the third trimester involve looking at the incidents that could affect the baby's genetics after birth. For example, Group B Streptococcus bacteria that thrive in the vaginal channel can cause severe infections for your baby. In turn, the bacteria can hinder proper genetic development, especially for babies with weak immune systems.
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