What is Genetic Testing?

Genetic testing is a medical test that examines your DNA, identifying changes in chromosomes, genes, or proteins. The decision to have Winter Park genetic testing is personal since it has benefits, limitations, and risks. For example, while genetic testing can provide vital information for diagnosing, treating, or preventing illness, the results are not always accurate. If you are healthy, a positive result doesn’t mean you will develop a disorder, and a negative result does not guarantee that you will not have a particular condition.

Why is genetic testing done?

Different genetic tests analyze changes in genes, chromosomes, and proteins, and each is carried out for a particular reason. While selecting the appropriate test, your healthcare provider considers suspected conditions and genetic variations associated with those conditions. Genetic testing

·         Predictive or presymptomatic testing. Predictive testing is done to determine your risk of developing a particular condition. If there is a predisposition to a genetic disorder in your family, genetic testing can reveal if you are at risk of the same disease. For example, this test can help identify your risk of colorectal cancer.

·         Diagnostic testing. If you have symptoms of a disease caused by genetic changes, genetic testing may be used to confirm a diagnosis. Examples of conditions associated with genetic modifications include Huntington’s disease and cystic fibroids.

·         Preimplantation testing. Preimplantation genetic diagnosis is vital if you attempt to conceive a child through in vitro fertilization. Before implanting the embryos into the uterus, a specialist screens the embryos for genetic abnormalities. Embryos without defects or irregularities are planted in the uterus in hopes of a successful pregnancy.

·         Newborn screening tests newborns for genetic and metabolic abnormalities that cause specific conditions. The test is essential because care and treatment can begin if the results show disorders like sickle cell disease or congenital hypothyroidism.

How safe is genetic testing?

Generally, genetic tests have few physical risks, but they are associated with financial, emotional, and social risks. Blood and cheek swab tests carry no threats, but prenatal testing such as chorionic villus sampling and amniocentesis risks miscarriage. Therefore, it is essential to discuss the risks and benefits of genetic testing with your physician or genetic counselor before you have a genetic test.

Preparing for genetic testing

Gathering as much information as possible about your family’s medical history can help you get the most out of genetic testing. After all the information, consult with your doctor or a genetic counselor to understand your risk based on your personal and family medical history. During the consultation, raise any concerns you may have concerning genetic testing to clarify any uncertainty. You can also discuss your options depending on the test results.

You also want to discuss your decision to have genetic testing with your family, especially if you are being tested for a disorder that runs in families. Having these conversations might be challenging, but it is important; it gives you a sense of how the results may affect your family.

If you have symptoms of a genetic disorder, consult your specialist at the Center for Reproductive Medicine to know how you can benefit from genetic testing.