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DNA Testing During Pregnancy

Updated on March 21, 2015

Getting a DNA Test While Pregnant

When you’re expecting your first child, it should be an exciting time, but for some it can be awkward if you have more than one partner. So how do you determine who the father is, so you can break the news? Thanks to modern medicine, it is easy to find out through a simple DNA test. A DNA test is highly accurate, and what is really convenient is the procedure is very safe. Through DNA testing you can determine who the father is as early as the eighth, or ninth week, and the procedure is not invasive at all, which can lead could lead to a miscarriage. With the tests being so early, a women could have the choice to terminate, if done early, if the father is for instance not the desired individual, or if the woman happens to be the victim of sexual assault. First thing is to answer three things:

  • What is DNA?
  • What goes into DNA testing?
  • How reliable is DNA testing?
  • Are there different kinds of DNA testing?

What is DNA?

DNA can be described as the universal code within your entire body that describes how your body functions. The structure can be described as a helix of molecules. Each DNA is unique to each individual, and the only way it could be changed is by extreme forms of radiation, which could cause mutation. When two individuals engage in intercourse, DNA from both the father and mother are both contributed equally to create new forms of DNA. DNA testing is used to analyze the DNA for any inconsistencies.

What goes into DNA testing?

What goes into testing is that both parents are sampled and then are compared to the DNA child. The mother is the first to be sampled and then it is compared to the DNA of the child. When the results are verified, this can allow for the DNA of the father to be excluded, or it can be included. If the mother is not present, there still can be DNA tests but it will take longer, and it may not be as conclusive, resulting in more testing.

Are there different kinds of DNA testing?

There are a few different kinds of DNA testing:

  • Y – Chromosome Testing
  • Mitochondrial DNA Testing
  • Autosomal DNA

Y – Chromosome Testing

This particular kind of testing is strictly for males. This test covers the Y – chromosome, and there are a few different kinds of tests. One of them is the 12 STR, (short tandem repeater makers). This tests determines what is known as haplogroup, a group of similar sets of DNA. This is one of the best tests in regards to lineage testing; when there is a match within the groups it will support a direct male lineage connection.

The 37 STR has more details. This test has 37 STR’s markers, which are tested. When you want to determine your genealogy, this is a pretty popular test, as not only will it determine lineage, but also ethnicity. The final test is the 67 STR; this test is even more precise, as it provides lineage, ethnicity, and the geographic location of their ancestors.

Mitochondrial DNA Testing

This particular test involves DNA, which passed from the mother to the child, and helps determine the maternal lineage of an individual. Like STR’s there are a number of different kinds of Mitochondrial DNA testing, but Mitochondrial DNA testing is used to determine maternal ancestry, not for paternity. Mitochondrial DNA is tested on a number of levels; HVR1 is only used in the range of 16001 to 16569. Another test is in the HVR2 range is the 00001 to 00574, and there is another test that covers the complete range of Mitochondrial DNA. When there is an exact match with any of these tests, it helps determine the ancestry in regards to the maternal side of the child, and it can determine that ancestors have existed in regards to recent history.

Autosomal DNA

This test is most commonly used to determine paternity. This test can also be used to determine maternity and siblings, but it is not used for ancestry.

How do you test?

When you test there are two ways:

1) Law Enforcement
2) DNA Testing Kit

When it comes to law enforcement, this is usually done if a crime has been committed, and the results are sent to a lab. There are home DNA testing kits, which can be ordered online, or through major pharmacies.

Where is DNA usually found?

DNA can be found in hair, and saliva, but many will use blood samples. The reason why blood is used so often is there are large amounts of DNA, and this will help determine the best results. Blood comes from the interior, which leads to less interference. This is relevant, when you compare it to skin, and hair with both of those being external, which can lead to flawed outcomes.

Professionals will examine when the tests are taken the chains of DNA and the first thing to be determined is any kind of defects. If this is used in regards to forensic analysis, samples will be compared between the victim, and the alleged perpetrator, and what is used at the crime scene.

The possible flaws in regards to testing

The flaws involved can be the quality of the blood sample. If DNA is used at a crime scene, external factors can flaw the blood samples, making the results inconclusive, or defective.

DNA testing while being pregnant

When you want to have a test while pregnant there are some medical risks, and it would be wise to have the assistance of a professional, instead of doing the test yourself. There are going to be some medical risks, and it could lead to complications. The test will be more expensive, and it is important to use blood samples in regards to accuracy. This is common as mentioned if the mother has more than one partner. It is best to have the mother’s sample. A swab may be just as accurate, and may be more easier, to avoid complications, but there is still the risk that the DNA could be tampered, where with blood, the chances are less. If the there is possibility of two fathers, it is best to have both males tested at the same time.

The labs will perform enough tests to determine who is the father of the child. If one of the potential fathers lives in another area of the country, you can set up what is called genetic profiles, which will be able to collect samples. If necessary the mother may need to have what is called obstetrical procedure, which is needed to get a sample from the fetus. This where risk is much more significant, and can complicate the pregnancy. It is best to consult, with a professional to determine if this is necessary, and if so does it need to be tested in a specific trimester.

Also see TestCountry for their affordable paternity testing services.
Their Paternity & DNA tests provide the most accurate and conclusive DNA test results available, at very affordable prices. Their laboratory uses 16 genetic marker analysis and is accredited by the AABB as a Parentage Testing laboratory.

How to Get a DNA Test While Pregnant

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