In recent times, noninvasive testing has started to become more and more popular. This type of testing evolved from the desire of limiting contact with the placenta and the fetus. This was done to avoid risking the health of the fetus. Many parents have started looking for non-invasive prenatal testing in Malaysia as well.
What is Noninvasive Prenatal Testing (noninvasive prenatal testing)?
Noninvasive prenatal testing (NIPT), also known as noninvasive prenatal screening (NIPS), is a technique for estimating the likelihood that a fetus may be born with genetic abnormalities. Small bits of DNA circulating in a pregnant woman’s blood are analyzed in this test. Unlike most DNA, which is located inside a cell’s nucleus, these pieces are free-floating and are referred to as cell-free DNA since they are not contained within cells (cfDNA). When cells die and are broken down, their contents, including DNA, are released into the circulation, these little fragments form. They normally comprise fewer than 200 DNA building blocks (base pairs).
The mother’s bloodstream carries a mixture of cfDNA from her cells and cells from the placenta throughout pregnancy. The placenta is uterine tissue that connects the mother’s blood supply to the foetus. During pregnancy, these cells are lost into the mother’s bloodstream. The DNA of placental cells and the DNA of the fetus are usually identical. The analysis of cfDNA from the placenta allows for the early diagnosis of some genetic disorders without causing harm to the fetus.
Advantages of Noninvasive Prenatal Testing
Diagnostic testing for genetic and chromosomal disorders necessitates the collection of foetal DNA by an intrusive procedure, which carries a minor risk of miscarriage. Many pregnant moms are hesitant to undergo testing when screening indicates a fetus may have a genetic issue because of the risk to the pregnancy. Noninvasive prenatal testing provides a significantly lower-risk way to gather medical information from foetal DNA fragments in a mother blood sample, particularly anomalies for which all pregnant women are routinely screened. Down’s Syndrome is the most prevalent and mildest of all aneuploidy conditions.
Trials have indicated that noninvasive prenatal testing performs better on maternal blood samples than traditional screening procedures, both in high-risk pregnant women and in low-risk, unselected populations of pregnant women. Offering noninvasive prenatal testing during pregnancy has been demonstrated to be popular with women, resulting in minor increases in the number of cases of aneuploidy detected, large reductions in the number of invasive tests performed, and slight reductions in the number of miscarriages caused by invasive testing.
Noninvasive Prenatal Testing has a slew of advantages and has helped expecting parents become better prepared for their newborns. However, there is the question of genetic discrimination. In order to make noninvasive prenatal testing more adaptable,
- Women and couples who choose to use noninvasive prenatal testing to detect a serious medical issue or impairment in the fetus should be allowed to do so in an environment that allows them to make autonomous, informed decisions, with efforts made to limit the wider risks of noninvasive prenatal testing.
- noninvasive prenatal testing should not be used to determine whether a foetus has a ‘less significant’ medical condition or impairment, or an adult-onset condition; to determine whether the foetus is a carrier of a gene for any kind of medical condition or impairment; or to reveal non-medical characteristics of the foetus, such as sex.
- In most cases, noninvasive prenatal testing for whole genome or exome sequencing of fetuses should be avoided.
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