What is Fetal Genetic Testing?

Fetal Genetic Testing is a specific prenatal testing that focuses on the fetus rather than the mother. Often, prenatal and fetal genetic testing overlap, but more specific tests like DNA testing of the fetus can determine genetic abnormalities or mutations. 

The specific type of fetal genetic testing recommended may vary based on factors such as gestational age, family history, and individual circumstances. Common fetal genetic tests include noninvasive prenatal testing (NIPT), maternal serum screening, chorionic villus sampling (CVS), and amniocentesis.

How do you prepare for Fetal Genetic Testing?

Before deciding on performing fetal genetic testing, you and your doctor might consider a carrier screening or prenatal screening to see if the unborn fetus is at risk or has a high chance of genetic abnormalities. 

Why is Fetal Genetic Testing performed?

In Fetal Genetic testing you can get a better idea if your fetus has genetic defects. While procedures like carrier screenings or prenatal screenings can assist our NYC Ob/Gyn specialists in anticipating potential defects, fetal genetic testing is the most sure way to receive a more comprehensive diagnosis.

While fetal genetic testing can’t determine all genetic defects it can be helpful in diagnosing Down syndrome, cystic fibrosis, heart defects, or other genetic defects.  

Viva Eve expert NYC Ob/Gyns work with the best fetal maternal specialists in New York City and will provide a referral and support if you would like to schedule a consultation. Our highly trained specialists are experts in minimally invasive fetal therapeutic procedures and more in-depth fetal genetic testing.

What can you expect during Fetal Genetic Testing?

There are different options for fetal genetic testing. A procedure called ​​Amniocentesis is more invasive but is a more effective method of DNA testing for the fetus. A multiple marker test is another blood test that can be part of fetal genetic testing. This test checks for specific signs that increase the chance of the fetus developing Down syndrome, birth defects, or if you have more than one baby growing (twins or more). While it is sometimes referred to as a “test” it is not a diagnostic procedure and is best used as part of the screening process. 

In ​​amniocentesis, your doctor will begin with an ultrasound to locate the fetus. Once your doctor has determined the fetus is doing well, they will insert the needle into the womb, careful to not insert the needle too close to the fetus. A diagnostic test like this does not take much time and doesn’t require a long recovery period. You can rest at home for a day or so after the procedure if you feel tired or if your doctor recommends it. 

With less invasive screenings, like a multiple marker test, you should require little to no preparation or recovery as it will be very similar to other basic screening procedures.

What is the followup and recovery like for Fetal Genetic Testing?

In most types of fetal genetic testing, you can return to your daily activities quickly, although your NYC Ob/Gyn at Viva Eve might suggest you rest for a day or so to fully recover from more invasive procedures like ​​amniocentesis.

A follow-up consultation with your healthcare provider to discuss the results is an opportunity to review the findings, interpret the implications, and address any concerns or questions you may have. Your healthcare provider will also outline the available options for further testing or interventions if necessary.

What are the potential costs for Fetal Genetic Testing?

While the cost of genetic testing for pregnancy can range from less than $100 to over $1,000, most tests are covered by insurance. Insurance is more likely to cover testing if a pregnancy is considered high-risk for a genetic or chromosome condition, but many options are covered in low-risk pregnancies as well.

What are the potential risks for Fetal Genetic Testing?

Prenatal screenings that are just a blood sample don’t carry any risk. The risk is slightly higher for diagnostic tests like amniocentesis or CVS, which include infection, bleeding or miscarriage. These complications are extremely rare.

It’s important to note that fetal genetic testing is a personal decision, and the choice to undergo testing should be based on informed discussion with your Viva Eve healthcare provider, considering your individual circumstances, values, and preferences.

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