Health is an investment that plays a crucial role in keeping families safe and secure, and good family planning can be the first step to ensuring sound physical health and emotional wellbeing of your future family.
Carrier testing in family planning is increasingly accumulating interest in the health industry. This involves conducting several lab tests on human samples, including blood and saliva, to identify any gene problems with a potential of being passed down to one’s offspring.
As such, this post sheds light on some of the common disorders worth considering for carrier testing when planning your family and why that is helpful.
Genetic Disorders to Potentially Consider for Carrier Testing in Family Planning
Although genetic mutations don’t necessarily lead to genetic disorders, knowing about them excellently helps your family planning decisions. There are more than 400 disorders with high probability of flawed genes, although some are very rare or their treatment is not well studied.
The following are the commonest of the disorders worth considering for carrier testing:
- Cardiovascular disorders, commonly abbreviated as CVDs – these are a group of disorders affecting the heart and blood vessels. According to the most-known Framingham Heart Study, we are informed about the hereditary aspects of CVDs.
- Fragile X syndrome – a genetic disorder resulting from changes in a gene known as fragile X mental retardation 1 (FMR1). The chance of a mother with this mutated gene passing it to each child they have is 50%. Cognitive impairment and problems with learning are some of the common developmental problems seen in a child with Fragile X syndrome.
- Sickle cell disease – an inherited blood disorder that specifically affects cells responsible for transporting oxygen to all parts of the body, scientifically called red blood cells.
- Cystic fibrosis – an inherited disease that affects mostly the lungs causing persistent lung infections and breathing problems. Over a thousand gene mutations are known to cause cystic fibrosis.
- Hemophilia – an inherited bleeding disorder where blood fails to clot properly. Bleeding for a long time after an injury or surgery is one of the pointers to this disorder.
Why Then Is Carrier Testing Important In Family Planning?
Whether you are aware of a genetic inheritance that runs in your family or you’re just looking to fill gaps about your family’s medical and heredity factors before having a family of your own, carrier testing is an excellent option for you and your partner.
A crystal-understanding and incorporation of carrier testing for disorders with a genetic predisposition is highly essential when trying to address hereditary concerns in family planning. Carrier testing is particularly important because:
- It informs potential parents about the possible risks of passing any identified genetic disorders to their to-be-born child or children if either is a carrier of the genetic disorders or possess the problematic genes.
- It enables couples trying to plan for a family to make informed decisions, including ways of preventing the severity of the heredity effects.
- It helps couples planning for a family understand the management aspects such as costs and prognoses if they decide to have a child despite the risk of heredity being high.
Thanks to carrier testing, the number of genetic disorder cases is tremendously going down as people become empowered to make informed family planning choices. If you are in need of carrier testing services, don’t hesitate to contact us.