Genetic Testing For Pregnancy

Submitted on March 27, 2012

Genetic testing for pregnancy is a commonly found test that doctors recommend during pregnancy. This test helps to determine if any genetic abnormality has been passed on from a parent to a child. The test can normally be done between the 11th week till the last week of pregnancy. A doctor can also recommend genetic testing before pregnancy which involves the medical health check up of the parents before planning for a baby. There are quite a few pregnancy genetic tests that can be carried out of which the most common is amniocentesis. This is a type of test where it can be diagnosed if the baby has a chromosomal disorder or a fetal lung maturity.

Genetic Testing Pregnancy Reasons

Genetic testing and pregnancy are being taken seriously now as doctors recommend couples to get it done as early as possible so that any fetal complications can be diagnosed and worked upon. Apart from complications in the fetus this test is carried out to identify if any genetic abnormality has been passed on from the parents.


A few things have to be kept in mind to carry out genetic testing in pregnancy. The patient needs to wear loose clothes the morning of the test and make sure that they have a light breakfast. It is recommended that the patient consumes at least 2 liters of any fluid before the test. The doctor will recommend the patient to sign a consent form and give instructions on how to go about with the test which would take over 20 to 45 minutes.


Amniocentesis is a slow but detailed procedure and requires a lot of patience on the part of the patient. This type of genetic pregnancy testing involves inserting a thin needle through the mother’s abdomen into the amniotic sac to collect the amniotic fluid for diagnosis. First the doctor cleans the abdomen region with alcohol or betadine and then may or may not give a local anesthesia to make the skin numb. An ultrasound device is used to guide the needle once inserted to avoid any contact with the fetus after which a small sample of the fluid is removed and sent to the laboratory for analysis. The results are usually got between 10 days to 2 weeks. It is recommended that the mother should not indulge in any strenuous activity 24 hours post the test.