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Are you pregnant and considering, or undecided, about having prenatal chromosomal testing done? Here’s some thoughtful advice that may help in your decision making.
1. What is the advantage of prenatal testing?
- Early detection of Down's Syndrome is the primary advantage of prenatal testing, as it is the most common chromosomal abnormality among live births.
2. What factors increase my risks for chromosomal abnormalities?
- Certain family history/medical history of chromosomal abnormalities, and advance maternal age, may put a patient at a higher risk for a chromosomal abnormalities. Nonetheless, all pregnant women, despite a known family/medical history of chromosomal abnormalities, or advanced maternal age, should be offered chromosomal aneuploidy screening before 20 weeks gestation.
3. I’m undecided about having prenatal testing done?
- For couples undecided on having prenatal testing done, your healthcare provider may first review with you your estimated risk for chromosomal abnormalities, based on your age, the younger you are, the lower the risk. You may then consider what a positive test (for example, if Down's Syndrome were diagnosed,) would mean to you, as well as the next steps in pregnancy management should a positive diagnosis be made. This informational/hypothetical discussion may help some patients in their decision to pursue prenatal testing, or not.
Suzanne Hall, MD, FACOG
Eastside Gynecology Obstetrics, PC
Office located in Roseville, Macomb, Grosse Pointe, Rochester, MI