Preconception Testing

Preconception Testing at Dallas Fort Worth Fertility Associates

As you prepare for fertility treatment, your doctor may discuss the benefits of preconception carrier screening. A simple blood or saliva test provides valuable information about your carrier status, and likelihood of passing along inheritable genetic disease.
Carriers of genetic disease may have no symptoms, and can be unaware that they have a defective gene. Preconception testing enables your fertility specialist to take steps before you get pregnant so that you can avoid passing along inheritable genetic disease to your baby.
Dallas Fort Worth Fertility Associates partners with genetic testing laboratories specializing in DNA sequencing. The low-cost, multi-panel test scans for many different genetic mutations at once.

What Diseases Does Preconception Testing Target?

Preconception testing scans the DNA strands for evidence of mutations or anomalies. While it is possible to search for hundreds of anomalies, our fertility clinic recommends what’s known as responsible carrier screening.

This genetic test provides only essential conclusions about the likelihood of passing along life-altering genetic diseases, such as:

  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Fragile X syndrome
  • Sickle cell
  • Tay Sachs

It is appropriate for every couple to request preconception testing, but our fertility specialists will recommend it when one or more of these criteria exist:

  • You have a genetic disease.
  • You have a child with a genetic disease.
  • You have a family history of genetic disease.
  • You are in a high-risk ethnic group prone to genetic disease.

Interpreting Preconception Testing Results

If you are identified as a carrier of a defective gene, your partner should be tested next. If both partners carry a defective gene, the odds of having a baby born with the genetic disease are 1 in 4. If only one partner carries the defective gene, the baby will not have the disorder, but has a 50 percent chance of being a carrier.

Taking Action after Preconception Testing

You can get pregnant and have a baby without passing along an inheritable disease.

Advanced reproductive technology provides a means to identify embryos affected by genetic disease. Couples in which both partners carry a defective gene for the same disease can choose from these options:

  • In vitro fertilization with PGD Preimplantation genetic diagnosis takes place in the Dallas IVF lab at Dallas Fort Worth Fertility Associates. Your fertility specialist performs egg retrieval during the IVF cycle, and then egg and sperm are combined for fertilization to occur.
    On Day 3, embryologists remove totipotent embryonic cells for biopsy. Totipotent cells can form any cell in the body, and removing one or more does not affect the developing embryo.
    Finally, we transfer unaffected, genetically sound embryos back to the uterus for your best chance at a viable, healthy pregnancy.
  • In vitro fertilization with donor sperm or donor egg Couples affected by genetic disease may opt to pursue donor services in conjunction with intrauterine insemination or IVF.

Contact Dallas Fort Worth Fertility Associates to arrange for preconception carrier screening, and learn more about the proactive steps you can take during fertility treatment.