By: Dr. Angie Beltsos, Medical Director & CEO
Preconception counseling is developing into something larger than life. We, as doctors talking to patients before they are pregnant, continue to strive for simplicity and comprehensiveness.
One egg and one sperm create a new person with genetic codes about who we are and who we will become. Human features are in genetic recipes that come half from the egg and half from the sperm. There can be mistakes in the code that get passed on to the child and in recessive traits, as long one normal part gets passed on, the abnormal one may be overshadowed. In order for the abnormality to show itself, both the egg and sperm would have to contribute the abnormal gene. Many conditions or diseases are passed on to children through generations and a simple but important blood test can detect these genetic diseases. All women who want to have a baby should consider the testing of their genetic code called “carrier screening.” Up to half of pregnancies are unplanned! Therefore testing, when going in for pap smears or birth control pills, is also a consideration. At our clinics, we offer carrier screening to couples trying to conceive which may help to identify abnormalities and optimize the chance of having a healthy baby.