With the advancement in modern technology, it has become a lot easier and safer to know the condition of the babies even before they’re born. Not to mention that the new method gives much more accurate results than the conventional ways. It is called as the prenatal cell-free DNA testing that collects a blood sample from the mother that carries some traces of the genetic information about her unborn child. This fetal DNA testing is a non-invasive prenatal screening method or also commonly called as prenatal cell-free DNA screening or cfDNA.
The primary purpose of fetal DNA testing is to tell the parents of the likelihood that their unborn baby may have some chromosomal disorders like trisomy 13, trisomy 18, and Down syndrome. It can also be used to look for any sex chromosome abnormalities. When it comes to the accuracy of the test, it actually depends on the condition of the specific abnormalities being tested for. However, the results of cfDNA testing is considered to be more accurate than the traditional testing methods.
If you choose to undergo this test, you can usually get the results within two weeks at the maximum. A positive result means the baby has an increased chance of having a certain abnormality while a negative result indicates otherwise. Pregnant women who has taken this test usually receive definitive results which help them plan for the next steps based on the result itself.
A fetal DNA testing is available for expectant mothers who are at least ten weeks pregnant and is best for singleton pregnancies that are at a higher risk for chromosome abnormalities. It can either be due to the age of the mother, that’s at 35 and above at the time of delivery, or to the abnormal findings by other screening methods, or a previous pregnancy diagnosed with the same abnormality. While this test involves simple steps, it can get complicated still so it helps to discuss it with a physician or a prenatal genetic counselor that can help you in your decision-making.