REVOLUTIONARY NEW SCREENING IS HELPING COUPLES TO PLAN FOR PREGANANCY.
If you are wanting to start a family and you are wanting to make sure you have all bases covered, there are a few things to consider.
Recently, the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists recommended that all couples be offered reproductive carrier screening before pregnancy. The aim of carrier screening is to identify couples who have a chance of having a child with a significant medical condition due to an error in a single gene. Around 1 in 40 couples may have a chance of doing so, and testing prior to falling pregnant allows all reproductive choices to be considered.
Interestingly, we are all thought to be carriers of multiple genetic conditions. A carrier is someone who has an error in one copy of a gene, and they are usually healthy and therefore don’t know they have an increased chance of passing on a condition to their child if their partner is also a carrier. Advances in technology now allow couples to be screened for hundreds of genetic conditions before they even try for a pregnancy.
The screening is a one-off test for couples and 97-98% of couples will be in the low-risk category, but it is worth testing for the reassurance it can provide, as well as an opportunity for the 2-3% of high-risk couples to be provided with important information that allows them to make informed reproductive choices.
Repromed is one of the only clinics in South Australia offering the testing, with a dedicated genetic counsellor, clinical geneticist and IVF specialists with an interest in genetics available to discuss your options and treatments if you screen positive as a couple.
You don’t have to be seeking fertility treatment to have carrier screening at Repromed. In fact, you can call to make an appointment with a genetic counsellor and once you have the testing, the counsellor will contact you with the results – which usually takes around 4-5 weeks. The screening test itself examines your DNA, usually taken from a simple saliva sample.
Before this screening became available, it was really difficult to test more than one gene at a time, which meant it was a very costly and timely process, and most couples only found out that they were carriers for a specific genetic condition after they had an affected child – and most did not have any family history.
By getting in touch with Repromed, you will have access to a clinic where you can see a genetic counsellor, fertility specialist and a clinical geneticist to plan any future treatment you may require.If you’re interested in pre-pregnancy carrier screening, contact Repromed on 08 8333 8111 to book an appointment or visit their website and make an appointment with the genetic counsellor today.