There has been a lot of hullabaloo in recent times about DNA tests and paternity fraud. This further begs the question, can you do a DNA test while pregnant? Yes, you can as early as 7 weeks. In this post, you will learn all there is to know about DNA tests while a woman is pregnant.
What is a DNA Test?
A DNA test looks for certain genetic markers or traits in an individual’s deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). DNA is the genetic material found in all body cells that is handed down from parent to kid. It includes instructions for the growth and operation of the body’s cells and tissues, and it is responsible for many of our physical and genetic features, including eye color, hair color, and susceptibility to certain illnesses.
DNA testing is used to discover genetic illnesses or disorders, determine ancestry or family history, and identify persons for legal or forensic purposes.
Can You Do A DNA Test While Pregnant
As stated above, you can do a DNA test while pregnant. Before now, paternity tests were done after the child was born. However, with DNA testing becoming more affordable, it is now feasible to discover a substantial amount about your unborn kid through prenatal DNA testing – all before reaching your second trimester.
You can perform three types of DNA testing while pregnant: prenatal paternity tests, fetal sex tests (often known as “baby gender tests”), and prenatal screening tests. With these tests now available to the general public, you may have peace of mind about your child’s father, prepare for your son or daughter, and ensure that if your kid is likely to be born with a health concern, they receive the best possible treatment before they join the world.
Types of DNA Tests to Do While Pregnant
I believe I have sufficiently answered the question: Can you do a DNA test while pregnant? This brings us to the next question on the type of DNA test to carry out while pregnant.
Here are 3 types of DNA Tests to carry out while pregnant
1. Non-invasive Prenatal Diagnosis
Recent advances in prenatal genetic testing allow a doctor to collect a fetus’ DNA easily by taking blood from the expectant mother’s arm. This procedure is similar to any other blood draw and offers no harm to the growing fetus.
The mother’s blood is then taken to a special genetics laboratory, where some of the fetus’ DNA, or possibly fetal cells, are isolated from the mother’s blood. This is feasible because the mother and the fetus share a blood supply (the fetus is fed nutrients through the mother’s blood!), and, as a result, part of the fetus’ DNA and cells can be discovered circulating in the mother’s blood.
After obtaining the fetal DNA, genetic testing for one or more suspected illnesses can be done. This sort of examination examines the fetus’ genes directly.
2. Invasive Prenatal Testing (Amniocentesis)
Invasive prenatal testing is the conventional method for obtaining fetal DNA. It is often carried out between weeks 15 and 20 of pregnancy. The obstetrician inserts A needle into the womb and into the amniotic sac. The doctor then extracts some amniotic fluid with embryonic cells floating in it and sends it to a laboratory. The laboratory takes the fetal cells, cleanses the DNA, and then tests the fetal DNA for genetic mutations. This enables direct gene testing of the fetus.
Because a needle is put into the amniotic sac, there is a slight possibility that this treatment will result in a miscarriage.
3. Chorionic villus sampling (CVS)
This procedure is similar to amniocentesis, except it may be performed sooner, often between weeks 11 and 14 of pregnancy. The obstetrician puts a needle into the placenta and extracts several cells. The cells are then transferred to a laboratory, where the DNA from the cells is purified, and genetic testing is performed on that DNA. CSV enables direct gene testing of the fetus.
CVS has a tiny potential of causing a miscarriage because it also entails placing a needle into the womb.
Is it safe to carry out DNA tests while pregnant?
Experts believe that non-invasive prenatal paternity tests are very accurate and fully safe for both the expectant parent and the kid.
Amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling are more invasive paternity testing. Healthcare practitioners normally do not recommend them unless they are required to detect a serious genetic condition.
The following are some of the dangers associated with chorionic villus sampling:
- Miscarriage: CVS is associated with a 0.22 percent incidence of miscarriage.
- Infection: In rare circumstances, CVS can cause uterine infection.
- CVS may cause some of your baby’s blood to enter your circulation, causing harm to the baby’s red blood cells.
Furthermore, if you have any of the following conditions, your doctor may advise you to avoid CVS:
- An aggressive cervix or vaginal infection (such as herpes)
- Vaginal bleeding or spotting in the last two weeks
- A placenta that is inaccessible owing to a tilted uterus
- Cervical or lower uterine benign growths
Amniocentesis may pose the following risks:
- Amniotic fluid leakage: Amniotic fluid can flow from the vagina.
- Miscarriage: Amniocentesis during the second trimester has a 0.1 to 0.3 percent miscarriage risk. When the test is performed before week 15 of pregnancy, the risk is increased.
- Needle harm: If your baby moves into the route of the needle, they may sustain an injury.
- Infection: A uterine infection may occur as a result of sampling.
- Infection transmission: If you have HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B or C, or toxoplasmosis, your baby may get it.
Reasons Why a DNA Paternity Test While Pregnant Is a Good Idea
Not knowing who your child’s father is may be stressful, and waiting until after the baby is born to have a DNA test might be a cause of worry for you.
Here are some reasons why people carry out DNA Tests while pregnant:
- Knowing ahead of time allows you to make decisions regarding your romantic and familial ties before the kid is born rather than afterward when life becomes significantly more difficult.
- In preparation for the birth of your kid, you may wish the biological father to assist you during the pregnancy (attending birthing courses, purchasing furnishings and clothing, etc.).
- If you know who the biological father is before the baby is born, you can have some or all of your legal ducks in a row for child support, custody, and other issues.
- When the big moment approaches, you may be certain that the correct person is with you in or outside the delivery room.
- Paternity testing can also be useful for psychological reasons, allowing both the mother and child to create a relationship with the biological father through evidence-based DNA tests.
- Paternity test results might be significant legal records that help the kid get social security payments.
- These tests also allow doctors to assess the risk factors for certain inheritable genetic illnesses that the child may be susceptible to from his father’s side of the family.
- It gives the kid a clear and detailed medical history that will be important in future medical visits and consultations.
What Is The Cost Of DNA Paternity Testing?
An at-home DNA paternity test costs between $60 to $200 (including the kit). Test in the clinic or hospital will cost you up to $500.
Is It Safe To Take A DNA Test While Pregnant?
Generally, non-invasive DNA tests are safe for both the mother and child. However, it is essential to consult with a doctor before making any decisions. They can advise you on the next measures to take and recommend DNA testing that you can perform while pregnant.
Where Can You Get a DNA Test While Pregnant?
You’ll be astonished at how simple it is to obtain a DNA test while pregnant. All you have to do is know where to look.
Here are 3 places to get a DNA test while pregnant:
1. The drug store
A pregnant woman can get a DNA test at a local pharmacy shop like CVS or Walgreens. They sell DNA testing kits from some of the most well-known firms, including 23andMe and AncestryDNA.
DNA tests obtained at local drugstores are often genotyping tests that offer limited information on a portion of the individual’s genes. If you do one of these tests while pregnant, it will evaluate your own DNA but will not directly test the genes of your growing kid.
Drug stores may sell DNA paternity tests for people looking to confirm a probable father, but keep in mind that these tests will not be able to establish the biological father until the baby is born, and the infant’s DNA may be utilized.
2. The Internet
Ordering a DNA test online over the Internet is the most convenient option to obtain a DNA test while pregnant. You will get the DNA test kit in your hands for sample collection within a few business days.
Because there are so many more alternatives, the Internet is also the greatest place to acquire a DNA test while pregnant. Some DNA tests will simply examine a portion of your genome, whilst others will examine the full genome.
3. The Obstetrics Clinic
An obstetrician can undertake genetic testing on the growing baby’s DNA before it is even born! These tests necessitate the doctor obtaining the growing fetus’s DNA and then doing genetic testing on that DNA.
Can You Ascertain Paternity by the Date of Conception?
If you’re still unsure about obtaining a DNA test while pregnant, consider if the date of conception may be used to determine paternity.
However, sperm cells can survive in the female system for up to five days after intercourse, making determining paternity solely on the day of conception difficult.
When ovulation dates are included, the variability increases even more. Extrapolating paternity facts from the conception date is not particularly reliable since women ovulate on various days every other month.
A paternity test is typically recommended for women who have had several relationships in order to be confident of the father’s identity. Prenatal paternity tests are extremely important since they may save both parents a lot of time.
How soon can a paternity test be done?
Non-invasive paternity tests can be performed as early as 8 weeks of pregnancy, although amniocentesis is usually performed between the 14th and 20th weeks. Alternatively, between the 10th and 13th weeks, chorionic villus sampling is performed. The doctor will choose the scheduling of the tests after assessing you and your kid.
Is DNA testing during pregnancy covered by insurance?
Insurance may or may not cover DNA testing when pregnant, depending on the specific insurance plan and the purpose of the test.
If the test is done for medical reasons, such as looking for genetic diseases or abnormalities, insurance may cover the cost. However, if the DNA test is performed for non-medical purposes, such as paternity testing, insurance is unlikely to cover the cost.
It’s critical to check with your insurance carrier to see if DNA testing is covered by your coverage and if there are any restrictions or qualifications.
Can You Do A DNA Test While Pregnant Without The Father Knowing?
Because DNA testing may be performed on a number of materials, including blood, saliva, or hair, it is often feasible to undergo a DNA test without informing the father. However, some DNA tests, such as those performed for legal purposes (e.g., child custody or paternity lawsuits), may necessitate the involvement of all people being tested.
FAQs: Can You Do A DNA Test While Pregnant
Can a DNA test taken during pregnancy be wrong?
No. While pregnant, DNA is entirely accurate. Because your genes never alter, your pregnancy will have no effect on your DNA findings.
Can I use the DNA test results in court?
Non-Invasive Prenatal Paternity Testing Currently, test findings are not admissible in court. The science is sound, but courts must confirm the chain of custody from the patient to the laboratory, and this test is too new to have had the chain of custody confirmed.
Are DNA test results kept completely confidential?
Most DNA facilities have a policy of keeping your findings entirely secret. Speak with each laboratory separately about their confidentiality policies.