Carrier Screening: Get genetic testing before pregnancy

To increase your chances of having a healthy baby, our California fertility doctors can order several types of genetic testing prior to pregnancy. Today, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) recommends carrier screening for both partners before trying to conceive.

Carrier screening is simple and painless, typically requiring just a swab of the inside of each partner’s cheek. These samples are sent to a specialized genetics laboratory, where they are analyzed to identify any inheritable genetic conditions that could be passed on to a future child.

What does carrier screening look for?

This type of genetic testing can identify whether each partner is a carrier of any one of hundreds of genetic conditions.

  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Spinal muscular atrophy
  • Fragile X syndrome
  • Tay-Sachs disease
  • And an ever-expanding list of other common and rare genetic disorders

Getting carrier screening is especially important if either partner has a known genetic illness in their family. By combining the results from both partners, our California fertility doctors can educate you about your risk of having a child with a genetic condition. If your risk is high, treatment options are available to help you have a healthy baby.

Other types of genetic testing before pregnancy

For people who are known carriers of a genetic condition or are concerned about having a child with a genetic or chromosome disorder, IVF with preimplantation genetic testing, or PGT, is a good option.

With this type of genetic testing, sample cells from each embryo are sent to a specialized genetics laboratory for testing. These tests can help our California fertility doctors identify which embryos are the best candidates for transfer, and can help couples avoid transferring embryos with known genetic problems.

Several types of PGT are available to aid in embryo selection.

  • PGT-A, or preimplantation genetic testing for aneuploidy, checks each embryo for chromosomal abnormalities that would lead to conditions such as Down syndrome or Trisomy 18.
  • PGT-M, or preimplantation genetic testing for monogenic or single-gene defects, looks for defects in a specific gene in each embryo. This test can break the chain of inherited genetic disease in couples at high-risk for a known genetic disorder.
  • PGT-P, or preimplantation genetic testing for polygenic disorders, assesses each embryo’s risk of being affected by diseases related to a specific combination of genes, such as cancer, diabetes or heart disease.

Safeguard your future family

Genetic testing before conception can provide immense peace of mind for people who are ready to start growing their families. To learn more or get started with carrier screening, contact us to schedule a one-hour consultation with our experienced California fertility doctors.