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Genetic Counseling and Testing, Prenatal

Prenatal diagnostics are medical tests that show genetic conditions before birth. Modern science recognizes most genetic diseases derive from DNA, genes, and chromosomes. With this knowledge, we can better understand how alterations in DNA may result in disease and other abnormalities. In this way, prenatal testing allows potential for diagnosis and treatment in fetal medicine.

Genetic Disorders

It is now possible to determine diseases involving just a single gene in early pregnancy. By analyzing the mother’s blood, amniotic fluid, and chorionic villi, we can detect problems while the baby is still growing within the womb.

Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnosis

Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) is an alternative procedure for couples that carry a high risk of passing a genetic disorder to their child. This procedure involves artificial insemination about 3-4 days after fertilization. Through PGD, the chances of passing a genetic disorder to offspring are significantly reduced. However, this technique remains controversial and practiced in select locations.

Genetic counseling and prenatal care offer valuable information for parents to make an informed decision regarding the fetus. In some instances, parents may choose not to carry on with the pregnancy while others educate themselves about the condition in preparation for birth.

Prenatal Diagnostic Tests

At Virtua, you’ll have access to cutting-edge prenatal tests and procedures to evaluate your baby’s health and development.

Tests include:
  • 3-D and 4-D ultrasound
  • Non-stress testing
  • Amniocentesis
  • Genetic testing and counseling
  • Echocardiography
  • Prenatal diagnostic screening
  • Chronic villus sampling
  • Fetal blood sampling
  • Electronic fetal monitoring
  • Biophysical profiling
  • Duplex Doppler
  • STI Screening
  • Down Syndrome Testing

Prenatal Testing-Sexually Transmitted Infections

Screening for sexually transmitted infections is especially important during pregnancy. Young mothers who become infected can unknowingly transmit infections through labor and/or breastfeeding.

HIV and pregnancy

As an expectant mom, it’s important that you are tested for HIV. In fact, New Jersey law mandates that you be tested early in your pregnancy and again in the third trimester as part of your routine prenatal care.

If you come to Virtua to deliver and you have not been tested for HIV, we will test you when we draw your blood for your other lab work. You have the right to opt out of HIV testing. If you do, your baby will be tested. Parents who object to this testing for religious reasons must do so in writing.

Ask your healthcare provider about the benefits of these tests for you and your baby as well as your options for care.

VirtuaBaby content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you’ve read on VirtuaBaby. If you think you are experiencing a medical emergency, call your  doctor or 911 immediately.

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