Today the demands are for even higher standards in the quality of care, for greater flexibility and convenience in treatment times, and for more prevention through screening and health checks - Lucy Powell
image by: Dr Nisa Ultrasound
Today’s genetic technologies are not yet a crystal ball for seeing a child’s future, but doctors are closer than ever to routinely glimpsing the full genetic blueprints of a fetus just months after sperm meets egg. That genomic reconstruction would reveal future disease risk and genetic traits even as early as the first trimester of pregnancy. Fetal screening could theoretically detect every hint of disease-associated mutations or disease-carrier status in a fetus’s genome—sometimes outpacing geneticists’ knowledge of how to interpret such information. It could also reveal nonmedical markers for eye color or athletic prowess.
Advances in fetal cell research, coupled with the ever-dropping…
A noninvasive screening method could provide expectant parents with unprecedented and comprehensive fetal genetic data, but it also presents new ethical quandaries.
CDC recommends all pregnant women be screened for HIV, hepatitis B (HBV), and syphilis during pregnancy. For women at higher risk of infection, we recommend prenatal screenings for hepatitis C (HCV), chlamydia, and gonorrhea. Targeted testing for TB is recommended for women with known risk factors or exposure to TB.
Screenings during pregnancy and shortly after birth can identify any complications, diseases or disorders at an early stage, whereupon treatment can be offered. A screening during pregnancy is termed ‘prenatal’; that after birth is termed ‘postnatal’ and together they are known as ‘perinatal’ screenings.
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