Genetic Testing and Pre-Conception Planning
By Eric Bentolila MD, PA
March 10, 2021
Category: OBGYN Care

Starting a family is a joyous thing, but it can also bring up many questions and concerns, including potential health risks to your baby. If you or your partner have genetic conditions which run in your family, genetic testing or carrier screening can help determine if your baby may be susceptible to a genetic disorder.

Dr. Eric Bentolila and Dr. Jacqueline Saitta, have offices in Ridgewood, and Bayonne, NJ, and are here to help you with preconception planning, including the possibility of genetic testing.

Why might I need preconception genetic testing?

If you have family members with a genetic condition, such as cystic fibrosis, Huntington's disease, spinal muscular atrophy, red blood cell disorders, sickle cell disease, or Tay Sachs disease, you may be a carrier of the gene and could pass the condition on to your child.
Some genetic disorders are more common among individuals of certain races or ethnicities. With screening, your OBGYN can determine if you are a carrier.

How is genetic testing done?

At our Ridgewood or Bayonne, NJ, office a sample of saliva or blood will be collected from both partners and screened for dozens of genetic disorders.

What do the results mean?

If only one partner carries the gene for a genetic disorder, it is unlikely it will be passed on to your child. If both partners have the gene, your child may have a one in four chance of developing the condition.

Your OBGYN will help you go over this information and consider your options. Partners who are both determined to avoid the gene may choose to become pregnant and then have prenatal diagnostic testing to see if the fetus has the genetic disorder.

Partners may also choose to use in-vitro fertilization so the egg can be tested for the disorder before being implanted. A donor egg or sperm from a person without the condition could also be used for in-vitro fertilization. You and your partner may also decide not to try conceiving, and consider other paths to parenthood, such as adoption.

OBGYNs Dr. Bentolila and Dr. Saitta are here to provide any information and support you and your partner need as you create your conception plan.

Call our office in Ridgewood, NJ, at 201-447-1700 or Bayonne, NJ, at 201-447-0467 to make an appointment.

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