Detecting genetic conditions on time during pregnancy Detecting genetic conditions on time during pregnancy

Chromosome abnormalities can have a negative effect on your baby’s genes. Some tests can identify these disorders, however. Learn what they are.

Humans have a total of 46 chromosomes, divided into 23 pairs. Each pair has two chromosomes, one inherited from the mother and the other from the father. The first 22 pairs are numbered from 1 to 22, while the 23rd pair is what determines the baby’s sex: girls will have two X chromosomes and boys will have an X chromosome and a Y chromosome.

When there is an additional copy of one of the chromosomes, this condition is referred to as trisomy. The most common chromosome abnormality is trisomy 21, most commonly known as Down’s syndrome.

During pregnancy, noninvasive prenatal testing (NIPT) can help detect the main chromosome abnormalities of a fetus.

The Cleveland Clinic Health Library published a study on the importance of getting this testing during the first months of pregnancy.

What types of syndromes and chromosomal abnormalities can noninvasive prenatal testing detect?

These tests can detect approximately 99% of cases of Down’s syndrome and trisomy 18, and up to 92% of cases of trisomy 13. They can also detect some abnormalities involving sex chromosomes and can reveal the baby’s sex.

Also read: Medications to avoid while pregnant (article in Spanish)