Advantages of Chorionic Villus Sampling Test


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A number of tests are available these days to investigate the health of an unborn child. While these tests remain controversial in some circles, they are an invaluable tool, particularly for families with a history of genetic disorders or birth abnormalities. One such test is Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS), and this article discusses why you would undergo this particular test.

An introduction to CVS

CVS is a technique which carefully extracts cells from the placenta (these cells are known as the chorionic villi from which the procedure gets its name) for genetic analysis. Genes are essentially a blue print or set of instructions which guide the growth and development of every unborn baby from the earliest embryonic stages right through to birth and even after that. Defects in genes can occur spontaneously, but more often than not they are familial, meaning that they are passed on from parent to child.

CVS essentially allows for a very early diagnosis of a number of potentially debilitating diseases, including such conditions as cystic fibrosis and Down’s Syndrome. This provides parents with either peace of mind in the knowledge that an unborn baby is healthy, or presents a choice about whether or not to proceed with a pregnancy knowing that a child will be born with a life long illness.

Why would I get CVS done?

There are many reasons to get a CVS test, the most common of which is probably because of a family history of genetic illness. This means that the genes responsible for this disease have a potential to be passed on to offspring. For some people this is a good reason to find out for sure whether or not an unborn child will suffer from said disorder.

In some cases your doctor of midwife, upon looking into your medical background, will suggest the test as a possibility where there is a good chance of your child being born with a genetic disorder. In these cases, remember that you are under no obligation to undergo the test. If you do decide to go ahead with it, then your doctor will probably give you any and all supporting information you need, as well as a consent form to sign.

What do I do with my CVS result?

After the test, you will be provided with a result which your doctor will go through with you. If a foetus is negative for any genetic diseases then you can rest comfortably knowing that your unborn baby is healthy. However if the test is positive, then your doctor will present you with your options. You and your partner will decide whether or not to continue with the pregnancy. The decision is completely yours, and you can expect to receive the support you need from your healthcare staff.

As the CVS test is performed around the twelfth week of pregnancy, the option to terminate the pregnancy with an abortion is available to you. In the UK abortions are legal at any point in the first 24 weeks of pregnancy, provided that the procedure is performed in either a certified hospital or clinic and that two different doctors approve the abortion on health grounds. Again you should know the decision is completely yours, and your doctor won’t pressure you regardless of which choice you make.


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