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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Genetic Screening is Now Recommended to Be Expanded, This May Include All Patients Planning a Pregnancy

In an internal membership communication the Committee on Genetics from American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’  physicians have been guided to consider expanding genetic services. We have entered the age of genomic medicine and your care can be prioritized based on what your genetics are. Genetic testing is widely available, and the laboratories which offer this testing as well as the insurance companies which care for patients have begun to work together to make these tests widely available. It is still possible, based on your particular genetic background to test for conditions known to be passed through certain ethnicity or families. It is also now thought that expanded testing can be very beneficial for those who appear to have the risk of a typical American woman. The ACOG information is specifically looking at couples who are pregnancy planning, but it can be important for others as well. Specifically it is thought that young individuals should be tested, and that makes sense as there is, then, more time to medically intervene and make a difference in your health. There are a lot of choices when it comes to genetic tests, literally hundreds of tests are available. Your personal health care provider needs to help you sort which tests to get, and what to do with the information. No test is perfect, and individuals should know there are cases that test negative for a genetic condition that they do contract, as genetic mutations are possible as we age. So there are limitations to every test! As a rule ACOG is encouraging women to get tested for the more 'common' disorders, even though those disorders might be considered 'uncommon' to the average patients. If you have a 1/100 chance of finding a particular gene that causes a genetic disorder, that means there is only a 1/40,000 chance of the disease! The numbers can be quite confusing when sorting what test to have, consult your gyno if you have questions. .

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