Thinking of doing a preconception carrier test? We’ve put together the ten most frequently asked questions (and their answers) to help you with the decision making process.
Preconception carrier screening is a test to see if you or your partner carry a gene variant that could cause a serious genetic disease in your child. The common diseases usually screened for include Cystic Fibrosis, Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Thalassemia, and Tay-Sachs disease but there’s over 300 diseases screened for on the Eugene carrier test.
A few things we think everyone should know about carrier screening:
If you’re trying to get pregnant or even just starting to think about it, you’re probably doing everything to increase your chances of having a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby. Advances in genetic testing now means testing is more accessible and an increasing number of individuals and couples are choosing to have carrier screening as part of this preparation.
Why we think you should think about doing a preconception carrier screen:
Ideally, carrier screening should be done before or early in pregnancy. That’s because knowing of any risks in advance can help you make more informed pregnancy choices; and if necessary, significantly reduce your risk of passing on the disease.
Eugene’s carrier screening is an ethical test that only includes serious and actionable diseases. Test results will let you know if you may unknowingly be at risk of passing a genetic condition on to your child. All diseases tested for are serious and actionable. This information can provide peace-of-mind or provide life changing information.
Before making the decision to go ahead with a preconception screen, it is important to ask yourself the question “What will the results mean for us and what would I do if my partner and I were found to be carriers of the same condition?” This would only happen to 2-3% of couples, but it’s something to think about. It isn’t something that can necessarily be answered overnight, and might take some time. We recommend that you and your partner find 15-30 minutes of no-technology, no-distraction time to discuss this important question.
Important things to remember:
Simply put, having access to empathic and expert genetic professionals should be a priority with any healthcare genetic test. Genetics can often be a little confusing and complex, and people often worry about their results. That’s where genetic counsellors come in — they are trained professionals who guide people in making important decisions around how genetics influences their health.
At Eugene, each member is assigned a personal genetic counsellor who’s with you every step of the way, to support you through understanding what the test is all about and what the results mean for you and your family.
Eugene’s carrier test is diagnostic and clinical grade. That means that you and your doctor can use these results to make important medical choices. However, it’s important to remember, no genetic test is ever going to be 100% — that’s just how the science works!
The way that this plays out in real life is that if someone is identified as not a carrier, there is still a very small and unlikely chance that they may still be a carrier. This is called the residual risk. And that’s because no genetic test can detect with a 100% certainty.
Eugene is committed to protecting the privacy and rights of individuals in relation to their personal information. That means that:
In the same way that you’ve got your mum’s eyes and your dad’s nose, we’ve been passing on genes from parent to child, forever. Sometimes we can also randomly pass on less nice things like genetic diseases, even if we’ve never heard of them or do not have any family history — this is the case for about 70% of people who have a test and come back as a carrier of a condition they have never heard of or knew about!
Your DNA analysis is performed in labs that are internationally certified and accredited to perform genetic tests for healthcare services.
Once the lab complete the analysis of your sample, your extracted DNA will be stored in a secure cold storage facility on the laboratory premises for six weeks. This allows the laboratory to re-examine your sample if there are any queries about your results.
We started Eugene to create a kinder, gentler and more affordable approach to health — to build the kind of healthcare service that we’d want for ourselves and our loved ones. So if you’re wondering why Eugene, here’s why we know you’ll love us:
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Eugene's pre-pregnancy carrier test is like a checkup to see if you or your partner are carrying any genetic disease that could be passed on to your children.Learn more
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