Carrier screening can help prevent inheritable genetic illnesses in your children
When patients are getting ready to conceive, they often want to know whether preconception carrier screening matters. To answer this question, think of it this way: If you could help protect your future children from inheritable genetic illnesses, would you? Getting screened for genetic illnesses is the first step to help your children have healthy lives in the future.
Our Las Vegas infertility clinic team is here to explain what you need to know about preconception screening for inheritable genetic illnesses, including why it’s so important.
Why is preconception carrier screening so important?
The Fertility Center of Las Vegas offers preconception genetic screening to all patients who are thinking about becoming pregnant. This follows recommendations from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American College of Medical Genetics.
The goal of preconception carrier screening is to determine whether you or your partner carry an inheritable genetic disease. If either of you carry a specific illness, our fertility doctors can help you avoid passing it to your future children.
You might think that you’d know if you carried a genetic illness, but most carriers don’t have symptoms of the condition. If you and your partner both carry the same genetic disorder, your children are more likely to be born with it.
Knowing that you and your partner are carriers of a certain condition allows you to take steps to protect your children from it. For example, you can welcome a baby using in vitro fertilization (IVF) and preimplantation genetic testing (PGT). Some patients also opt to conceive using donor sperm or donor eggs. This combination allows your doctor to only transfer embryos that don’t have or carry the condition.
How does this type of screening work?
Preconception carrier screening is surprisingly simple. In fact, genetics laboratories can use a single saliva sample to screen for more than 100 autosomal recessive genetic disorders. Some common examples include sickle cell disease, cystic fibrosis and Tay-Sachs disease.
If your test results reveal that you and your partner carry a specific condition, you’ll talk to a genetics counselor. From there, you’ll work with our Las Vegas infertility clinic team to develop a treatment plan to help you have a healthy baby.
Contact us if you’d like to learn more about preconception screening and your treatment options to avoid passing on an inheritable genetic disease. We’re here to help you have the family of your dreams.