What is Prenatal Testing?
Prenatal testing gives details about the baby’s condition before they are born. At your first prenatal visit, your medical practitioner will test for several things, including your blood, weight, height, glucose, blood pressure, and many more.
Furthermore, doctors in Malaysia may suggest additional tests, especially when older than 35 years old. Perhaps, the older you are, the higher your chances of conceiving a baby with syndrome or illness.
Otherwise, some tests are recommended for women aged 25 and above, such as screenings for gestational diabetes or hypertension and infectious diseases like Hepatitis B, C, and HIV.
What are the types of prenatal testing available in Malaysia?
There are numerous types of prenatal testing conducted in Malaysia. For example, there is non-invasive prenatal testing, such as blood tests, saliva tests, urine tests, and ultrasound. Other types of prenatal testing include invasive tests such as amniocentesis, chorionic villus sampling, and percutaneous umbilical blood sampling.
The non-invasive prenatal testing is a technique to discover if a pregnant woman is at stake for carrying a baby with a chromosomal disorder such as Down syndrome. Based on the outcomes of these tests, doctors may choose to request more investigations for chromosomal conditions.
Furthermore, it can also determine the safest and most suitable treatment options for any disorders encountered during pregnancy. The test can also specify if the baby is a boy or girl. In brief, any woman conceiving a baby can perform non-invasive prenatal testing.
However, if you are looking for non-invasive prenatal testing, it should be applied as a screening test only and should not be viewed as diagnostic. Besides, it tests only for typical chromosomal anomalies and cannot sample for all hereditary conditions.
Who should get non-invasive prenatal testing?
According to the Health Ministry of Malaysia, pregnant ladies aged 35 and above, a personal/family history of a chromosomal abnormality, or a maternal/paternal chromosomal abnormality should opt for non-invasive prenatal testing.
How Non-invasive prenatal tests are performed?
Firstly, the test is conducted by drawing the maternal blood test. Remember, it poses no threats to pregnant ladies and their babies. Later, the blood sample will be sent to the lab to analyze the outcomes.
Results will be dispatched to the system within two weeks. Each hospital/clinic might have a distinct policy for delivering results to their patients. Mostly, a healthcare provider’s staff or doctors will probably call and guide you from there.
How valid are the results?
Surveys show that the non-invasive prenatal test has very high sensitivity and specificity for Down syndrome. However, for other conditions, the sensitivity is slightly lower. On the other hand, a negative result does not fully guarantee a healthy and unaffected gestation. Meantime, a woman with a positive outcome should be referred for invasive prenatal testing and genetic counselling in Malaysia.
What are the Benefits of non-invasive Prenatal Testing?
These tests will train parents of children with potential chromosomal anomalies. Therefore, it improves the quality of life via early risk identification and treatment compliance. Also, it lessens the chance of acquiring complications during adulthood.