Preconception Genetic Testing

Protect your future family with preconception genetic testing

Texas Fertility Center follows the recommendations about preconception genetic testing from the American College of Medical Genetics and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Our Austin fertility center offers genetic testing for everyone who is thinking about becoming pregnant. The goal of preconception genetic testing is to identify whether either parent carries a genetic disease. If one or more parent is a carrier, our fertility specialists can help them avoid passing the genetic illness to their future children.

Preconception genetic testing can identify carriers of genetic illnesses

Carriers of genetic illnesses do not usually manifest the disorder. However, if both parents are carriers of the same genetic mutation, their children will have a higher chance of suffering from the disease.

  • The most common genetic disorders have an autosomal recessive mode of inheritance. 25% of children born to a couple who are both carriers will have the disease, 25% will not have the disease or be carriers and 50% will be symptomless carriers.

Without preconception genetic testing, healthy parents may not realize that they are carriers who could pass a life-altering genetic disorder to their children. If both parents are carriers of a specific abnormal gene, treatments from our Austin fertility center can dramatically improve the chances of having a child without the genetic abnormality.

Types of preconception genetic testing

Because of advances in genetics, two new types of genetic testing are available to men and women who visit our Austin fertility center.

  • One test involves the collection of saliva from each parent. Each sample can be screened for more than 109 autosomal recessive genetic disorders. The advantages of this test are that it is performed on saliva, screens for a large number of diseases and is relatively inexpensive.
  • The second test looks at pieces of genes. Through the testing of tissue obtained from a cheek swab or blood sample from each parent, 200-300,000 small DNA fragments representing pieces of each known gene can be evaluated. When an embryo resulting from in vitro fertilization (IVF) is produced, the DNA from each embryo can also be screened and evaluated. If an embryo is chromosomally abnormal, this test can determine whether the abnormality comes from the egg or the sperm. This information is helpful in cases of recurrent miscarriage or repeated IVF failure when couples are struggling to determine whether they should consider using donor sperm or donor eggs.

These two technologies represent a major advance in the field of genetics and offer men and women new hope for achieving their dreams of having a healthy family.

If you would like to learn more about preconception genetic testing at Texas Fertility Center, please contact us today.