Private Genetic Testing During Pregnancy

As the importance of genetic testing in medicine has grown, so has the number of firms offering these tests privately. Private genetic testing is available from a number of different firms and facilities, some of which are accessed by means of simply mailing a sample to a lab for analysis. Private genetic testing services offer many advantages, but should also be treated with some caution.

Private genetic testing is an option for couples looking to get pregnant but who are concerned about the possibility of passing on a genetic illness to their children.

Why seek private genetic testing?

The main attraction for private sector genetic screening is time. Waiting to be referred to an NHS service can take quite a lot of time, which isn’t ideal if you want to get pregnant in the near future. Some private firms also give you the option to choose which tests to undergo, whereas your GP will usually refer you for a particular test based on your family history or symptoms.

Caveats to private genetic testing

There are some concerns about private genetic testing which you should consider before opting for that particular route. According to the HGC (Human Genetic Commission), an independent authority in the field of clinical genetics, care must be taken when following up on tests that are aggressively marketed but are supported with little evidence of success. These tests will rarely be reliable, and can just leave you feeling stressed and disheartened.

As such it is advisable that you research any potential private test, particularly those available online, and make sure that what they are offering is well supported by customer reviews and scientific evidence. Your GP will be a good source of information if you have any questions about a particular test or test provider.

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