DNA Testing During Pregnancy

Submitted by Medical Health Test Team on October 16, 2012

DNA is the abbreviation for Deoxyribonucleic Acid. It is used to store the entire genetic information which determines every aspect of the construction of all the components of the body. A person receives DNA from both parents. Conception is a result of sexual intercourse. The sperm from the male fertilizes the egg in the female body. During this process, the DNA information of each parent is mixed together forming a brand new unique DNA structure. The DNA structure does resemble the structure of each parent. A child receives half of his or her DNA from each parent. This is why children tend to resemble their parents and siblings tend to resemble each other. Even though each individual of a family has a different DNA structure, the resemblance is a result of some common elements that are shared between parents and their children.

A DNA test could also be used to establish the paternity, or more rarely, the maternity of a child. Paternity testing is conducted when there is doubt about the father of an individual. This doubt could be due to the fact that the pregnant woman has had more than one sexual partner. It could also be used to prove that a particular person is the father of the child for legal purposes such as future custody and financial support for the mother. Maternity DNA testing is only conducted when a separation has occurred between mother and child. When reunification happens, testing may be conducted in order to establish that the child is indeed related to the person claiming to be the mother. This is useful in places where civil disturbances cause families to be split up.

DNA testing during pregnancy could be conducted using various different methods. Amniocentesis is the process where a needle is introduced into the amniotic sac in order to draw out some amniotic fluid which could be used to analyze the DNA of the unborn child. This process uses the help of an imaging device to guide the needle properly into place. It is a risky procedure that is often blamed for miscarriages or injury to the mother. Another method of DNA testing during pregnancy is the use of Chorionic Villus sampling. This uses a small piece of tissue that is present on the outside of the uterus wall. This tissue occurs as a part of the fertilization process and therefore has the same genetic information as the unborn child.

More articles from the Genetic Testing Category