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Fertility News: What You Need to Know about Gene Testing

All about gene testing

The computer you are reading this on is likely due for an upgrade, because its technology has improved markedly over the past couple of years. Similarly, if you had gene testing performed a few years ago, that technology has evolved, too. At Texas Fertility Center, we employ the latest genetic testing options for our fertility patients.

What Dr. Silverberg has to say

TFC doctors and staff recently attended the annual meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) in Boston, and visited with one of our genetic testing partners, Good Start Genetics. Dr. Kaylen Silverberg explains an exciting new breakthrough in gene sequencing in this short video:

The next generation gene sequencing that Dr. Silverberg references has applications for all genetic disorders, but he uses cystic fibrosis as an example:

“In the old days we thought that each partner would need to have the exact same genetic mutation in order to have a baby with a severe genetic disorder,” says Dr. Silverberg. “We now know that, in fact, that is not correct. For example, a woman can have any of the mutations that have been identified in cystic fibrosis; her partner can have any of the other mutations. If they get together and produce a baby, they would have a one in four chance of having a baby with cystic fibrosis.”

In order to minimize the risk of producing children affected with a variety of different genetic disorders, Texas Fertility Center employs two basic types of testing.

Gene testing with breadth and depth

Texas Fertility Center might order Counsyl genetic testing for couples planning to get pregnant, and interested in preconception testing. Counsyl offers a broad test for 109 single gene defects. The technology that Counsyl currently uses is called microarray testing.

Good Start Genetics uses a different technology to screen for genetic disease, called next generation DNA sequencing. Gene sequencing tests can detect minimal alterations in the genetic code that can produce dramatic abnormalities in children. This technology has not only allowed Good Start to identify couples at risk for having children with preventable genetic disease, but also has enabled them to detect new mutations involving genes such as the ones that can cause CF.

Genetic testing affects how we treat and diagnose infertility, and helps give parents reproductive options like never before. Contact us at Texas Fertility Center to arrange for genetic testing.

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