Genetic Testing

The opportunity to evaluate the possibility of a couple passing on known, suspected, or even silent genetic disorders to their children is something we feel our patients should consider.

Typically carriers of genetic diseases are healthy individuals. Unfortunately, many people never know they are carriers of a disease until they have a child born with the disease. While in the past genetic evaluation of a possible problem relied on a couple’s knowledge of their family background combined with prenatal testing (amniocentesis), now there are tests that can be done prior to fertility treatment.

A simple blood test can be run to screen for more than 100 diseases, such as Cystic Fibrosis, Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Fragile X and Sickle Cell disease. Thankfully, the majority of test results will identify nothing abnormal and patients will be able to move forward with treatment. Of course no test can detect every possible disease, but testing will greatly reduce the chance of having a child with a genetic disease.

If both partners are carriers for the same disease, their child will have a 25% chance of having that disease. In those cases, patients may wish to consider preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) or undergo testing during pregnancy in order to make informed reproductive decisions.

The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology and American College of Medical Genetics recently updated their genetic testing recommendations for women planning a pregnancy. Based on these recommendations and because the testing process is so easy, Virginia IVF and Andrology Center wants all patients to be informed of this testing option.

Virginia IVF and Andrology Center and its affiliated offices have a relationship with Counsyl and Good Start Genetics to peform this genetic testing. If you are interested, you may obtain a kit from your doctor’s office along with the instructions on how to complete the test. Remember that since both partners must be affected, you can choose to complete testing on only one partner initially. If that partner is found to be a carrier of a disease, your partner will want to be tested as well. Counsyl and Good Start Genetics will provide genetic counseling for you and your partner regarding your test results.

The Counsyl and Good Start Genetics genetic test is covered by many insurance carriers, but you will want to check your benefits. If you have insurance coverage, Counsyl and Good Start Genetics guarantees that you will not have to pay more than $99 out of your pocket for any portion of the test that is not covered.