Ways for Couples to Prevent Genetic Defects before Pregnancy
Couples don’t usually worry about birth defects or genetics when they want to start a family. Some couples do, however, have this concern. It is not that they don’t want to raise a child that is not perfect at all.
Most of the concern comes from emotional and financial strain. If a couple is not wealthy, caring for a child that has genetic defects of any kind can be more than their budget allows for. Understanding what the risks are for those couples is often more beneficial than just hoping for a healthy baby.
Get a Full Chromosomal History
There are testing advancements to provide a full chromosomal workup for couples. This also allows doctors to use that data to work up a chromosomal history. What this tells them is what the probability of genetic defects would be for the couple.
Even more advanced testing is PGD or pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, is available. This costly procedure is something that couples with a history of genetic disorders on either or both sides of the family can consider.
Reasons to consider this testing process include:
History of miscarriages
Women over the age of 35
Family history of multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, downs syndrome and other defective disorders
Failed in vitro attempts
History of abnormalities during pregnancy and/or conception
A fertility specialist may see this test as necessary in order to get to the root of the problem to improve a couple’s chances of conception.
Look at Family History
It is very important that you know your entire family medical history. Discuss this with your parents and/or grandparents when possible. Knowing what ailments, syndromes or severe disorders have plagued previous generations helps the treating physician greatly.
Genetics can play a major role in fertility issues in couples. It is not just ruled out to you being dysfunctional.
Use Pre-Pregnancy Diagnostic Testing
Pre-pregnancy diagnostic testing is a way for a physician to see where you are physically. Some will check for chromosomal and metabolic disorders. Most of the time, this extensive battery of tests must be discussed as a concern.
The results of these tests can tell a physician whether or not there is anything to be concerned about if pregnancy occurs. This helps the physician and patient to be prepared. Preventative measures can be put in place when possible.
If any severe abnormalities are discovered, a discussion can be had with the couple as a warning that the potential for birth, genetic and metabolic defects are possible.
Let Pregnancy Happen Naturally
Some couples are not concerned about potential defects and will care for a child no matter what. This is actually the case with most couples. Although they may not be wealthy, regardless of their child’s healthy, they find a way.
Couples that have healthy backgrounds and healthy family histories rarely have anything to worry about. It is important to understand that even with a healthy medical report and strong healthy family history, defects can still occur.
Knowing about potential health risks and genetic defects before conceiving is often the decision maker for some couples. What this means is that some will refrain from conceiving and are more likely to adopt.
This does not mean that they refuse to have an imperfect child; it simply means that they care about bringing a child into the world that may not be able to enjoy life.
Consider the results that this type of testing can provide before attempting to conceive if you have a single concern at all in your mind. Knowing what risks you could be headed for gives couples the ability to either wait or prepare for the possibility in advance.