The tests are used to determine the sex of the fetus as well as to facilitate blood group typing. There are two types of prenatal testing used to detect potential fetal abnormalities: screening tests and diagnostic tests” 6 These two types of tests are extremely beneficial to detect any kind of birth defect that a baby might have. If primary screening tests demonstrate the baby could be in danger of acquiring some kind of birth defect, then the parents may make a decision to have a more invasive diagnostic test, for example, amniocentesis.
“ Amniocentesis, a test that involves analyzing the baby's DNA from an amniotic fluid sample, is the most accurate prenatal test for these serious conditions in the baby” 7The occurrence of Down syndrome and various other kinds of chromosomal problems are seen to increase as a mother age. An incorporated screening test shows that about 94 % children are born with “ Down syndrome” a) Down Syndrome: Down’ s syndrome is a major cause of concern for pregnant women and their families as well as the medical fraternity as a whole. This genetic disorder, first recognized by Dr John Langdon Down in 1866 as “ a distinct condition, ” hampers the normal growth of a child and can cause “ moderate to severe learning difficulties” 8 in him or her.
This condition, which develops when an infant is still in the mother’ s womb, lasts for his or her lifetime. Studies further indicate that such a child stands to be affected by other problems that may be fatal, such as “ congenital heart diseases, ” ailments relating to eyes and ears, “ Alzheimer’ s disease” etc. Though medical science is yet to pinpoint the causes of Down’ s syndrome, evidence suggests that “ the single biggest risk factor for the condition seems to be the age at which women give birth” 9 Therefore, monitoring women who are under the category of that age group can be instrumental in identifying the problems in them.
Under the circumstances, it becomes highly significant that some kind of testing should be made available to pregnant women, so as to enable them to properly diagnose the issues beforehand.
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