MFS Fertility Blog

Is Genetic Testing the Crystal Ball You’re Looking For?

Posted on October 22, 2012 in Male Infertility

Genetics can play a major role in couple's ability to get pregnant and maintain a healthy pregnancy. Some estimations state that 10 percent of infertility and miscarriages are caused by genetic defects. Genetic testing can help determine whether infertility is caused by genetic defects, instead of structural (such as obstructions) or functional (such as impotence) abnormalities. Knowing this allows you to make a more appropriate decision regarding which infertility treatments you will receive.

Why is Genetic Testing Beneficial?
Genes are encoded in your genetic material or DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid). DNA caries all the information needed for the development and functioning of all living organisms, and defects in certain genes can result in illnesses and disorders. Testing your DNA is helpful if other infertility tests have not found a cause for your infertility, or if your current infertility treatment is not working.

Prevent the Passage of Inheritable Diseases
Genetic testing is especially recommended if you or your partner have a family history of inherited diseases such as Tay-Sachs disease, Huntington's disease, or cystic fibrosis. DNA testing informs you and your partner what probability, if any, you have of conceiving a child with a genetic disorder. Note that being a carrier of a gene that causes a genetic disorder does not necessarily mean your child will have that disorder. A fertility procedure that can help prevent passing on a hereditary disease is called preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). PGD screens embryos for chormosomal abnormalities during an IVF procedure so that only the healthy embryos will be considered for implantation into the woman's uterus.

Although genetic testing may identify the cause for infertility, or even the underlying risk of having a child with a genetic disorder, getting a DNA test done can be a difficult decision. You and your partner should discuss beforehand what the consequences of hearing negative “news” would be.

Southern California Genetic Testing
Following the human genome project, genetic testing has now become an explosive area of research. If has taken on new prominence and direction; becoming one of the most rapidly expanding areas within the treatment of male infertility.  Karyotyping, Y microdeletion analysis testing, and cystic fibrosis test are the three genetic tests that are most commonly used in the infertile male. In San Diego, Dr. Bastuba will walk you through your fertility options ff any of these tests are positive and recommend a genetic counselor for you to visit.

Learn more about genetic testing options in Southern California.

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