The 10 reasons why everyone should consider genetic carrier screening

Blog

3 December 2021

Everyone who wants to conceive should consider genetic carrier screening. There are many reasons why genetic carrier screening is important – we’ve rounded up the top 10 reasons why you should complete genetic carrier screening.

First off – let’s explain what genetic carrier screening is.

Genetic carrier screening tests healthy adults to assess their chance of having a child with a single gene condition. Examples of single gene conditions include cystic fibrosis, Fragile X syndrome and spinal muscular atrophy. Genetic carrier screening can help you understand your risk of passing on a single gene condition to your child.

Now onto the top 10 reasons why you should consider genetic carrier screening.

1. Genetic conditions affect one in four hundred babies.

Genetic conditions are more common than you may realise – one in four hundred babies that are born are affected by a genetic condition. Some genetic conditions are manageable, but others can have more serious outcomes. Knowing your carrier status before conceiving allows you to understand your risk before you’re pregnant, so you can work through your options.

2. Genetic carrier screening allows you to understand your options earlier.

If you undergo genetic carrier screening before you are pregnant, it gives you time to understand your reproductive options without a time restriction. If you find out that you have an increased risk of having a child with a single gene condition, having time to talk to a fertility specialist or genetic counsellor is incredibly valuable. You deserve the time to think about your options and make an informed decision.

3. One in 20 reproductive couples will find out they have a high chance of having a child with a single gene condition.

Of the reproductive couples that undergo genetic carrier screening, one in 20 will discover they have a high chance of having a child with a single gene condition. In this situation, for every pregnancy there is a one in four chance of having a child with the condition they have screened positive for. It’s better to know your carrier status before pregnancy, so you can learn about all of your options.

4. The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists recommends genetic carrier screening.

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) is the leading body for Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in Australia and New Zealand. They recommend that anyone considering pregnancy should be offered genetic carrier screening.

5. The majority of children born with a single gene condition have no other affected family members.

You may not know someone in your family that has a single gene condition – but that does not mean that your children won’t inherit a single gene condition from you. The majority of children born with a single gene condition are born into families with no other affected family members. Genetic carrier screening will give you vital information to make informed decisions about your reproductive options.

6. You can now complete genetic carrier screening at home.

Monash IVF now offers at-home genetic carrier screening tests. You simply order the test online and it’s shipped to your home. Then you provide a saliva swab, before mailing your completed test back to us. You don’t need to come into a clinic for any procedures or tests – it can all be done at your kitchen table! You can order your at-home genetic carrier screening test here.

7. Genetic carrier screening is easy and non-invasive.

Monash IVF’s At-Home Genetic Carrier Screening Test couldn’t be simpler – all you need to do is provide a saliva sample in the provided tube and mail it back to us. There are no needles or invasive procedures involved – you just need to provide some saliva, and you’re good to go.

8. We’re all carriers of around three to five genetic conditions.

This may surprise you – but on average, we’re all carriers of around three to five genetic conditions. Most of us aren’t aware of this, and most of the time being a carrier doesn’t impact your health. About seven out of ten people having genetic carrier screening with us will find out they’re a carrier of a single gene condition. Genetic carrier screening allows you to understand the single gene conditions you carry and may pass on to any future children.

9. Genetic carrier screening can be done at any time.

Even if you’re already pregnant, you can still undergo genetic carrier screening. It is important to understand that it is different from non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT), which assesses the chance of having a chromosome condition during each pregnancy. If you’re not yet pregnant and find out you’re a carrier of a single gene condition after completing genetic carrier screening, IVF and genetic testing of your embryos may be one of the options offered to you.

10. Monash IVF's Genetics Team and fertility specialists are here to support you.

We understand that genetic carrier screening can raise a lot of questions and concerns. It’s important to us that you’re supported each step of the way. That’s why when you complete Monash IVF’s At-Home Genetic Carrier Screening, you’ll have the support of our genetics team, including genetic pathologists & counsellors. They can answer your questions and help you understand your options. We also have a team of leading fertility specialists across Australia who can help you conceive if you find out you’re a carrier of a single gene condition, including Monash IVF’s Genetics Medical Director, Dr Tristan Hardy. Dr Tristan is Australia’s only Fertility Specialist, Gynaecologist and Obstetrician who is a trained Genetic Pathologist.

You’re not alone, and we’re here to help you each step of the way.

Order your at-home genetic carrier screening test today.

Ready to complete genetic carrier screening? You can order your at-home genetic carrier screening test online here.

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