Genetic Screening Specialist

Board Certified OB/GYN in Tacoma, WA

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Genetic Screening services offered in Tacoma, WA

Genetic screening is becoming a common component of prenatal care and is among the services available from Steven Maynard, MD, at Rainier OB/GYN in Tacoma, Washington. If you’d like deeper insight into your pregnancy and a chance to screen for a range of genetic abnormalities, call the office to set up an appointment today or schedule online in just moments. 

Genetic Screening Q & A

Why is genetic screening important?

While most babies are born without any type of genetic abnormality, there are a wide range of possible genetic issues. Genetic screening gives you information about the fetus and whether there is a high risk of certain birth defects. 

Some tests are performed during the first trimester of your pregnancy. Blood testing and ultrasound imaging are common. Prenatal cell-free DNA testing looks at fetal DNA obtained in a mother’s blood to search for specific chromosomal issues.

During your second trimester, a blood test called a quad screen can be performed to check for specific substances in your blood. The results can indicate a higher risk of certain genetic abnormalities. 

There are also more invasive screening options available for high-risk pregnancies. These include amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling, both of which carry a slight risk of miscarriage but can provide a more specific diagnosis of fetal genetic disorders. 

It’s also possible for parents to have genetic screening before conceiving to learn if they have genetic issues that increase their risk of passing those issues along to their children.

What issues can be detected through genetic screening?

Genetic testing can detect signs of many genetic issues. Some of the conditions a screening can reveal include:

  • Down syndrome
  • Neural tube defects
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Tay-Sachs disease
  • Turner syndrome
  • Klinefelter syndrome
  • Spina bifida

These are just some abnormalities that can be detected through genetic screening. 

How are the results of genetic screening used?

Advancements in genetic screening means that parents are able to glean a great deal of information early in a pregnancy. That gives you a chance to make an informed decision about how to move forward. 

Every parent has a unique approach on how to address potential genetic abnormalities. Some decide to terminate the pregnancy, which is incredibly personal and difficult. Others will choose to seek early interventions, while some will plan treatment shortly after birth. 

It’s also important to note that not all genetic testing delivers clear results. Some tests only indicate an elevated risk of a disorder. As you navigate your results, you’ll have Dr. Maynard’s support and guidance. 

If you’re ready to learn more about genetic screening, call to set up a visit or book online in just moments.