Essay on Prenatal Screening Tests
Number of words: 653
Every parent, regardless of biological background, has a strong desire for a healthy child. However, abnormalities during fetus growth have become a common phenomenon due to physical, chemical, and radiation factors. Biological factors such as genetic mutation, which causes increased mental retardation and abnormal body growth, bring trouble to the child’s future growth and development. Scientific innovations and modern technologies in the medical field have developed different screening techniques to detect fetus abnormality before baby delivery. Blood testing and ultrasound techniques of prenatal screening tests are essential in determining blood type, Rh factor, and fetus abnormality, although such screening tests can place a pregnancy at a high risk of infection, premature rupture of membranes, bleeding, and even loss of the pregnancy.
Prenatal screening such as blood and ultrasound tests helps detect the blood type and Rh factor’s compatibility of the mother and the fetus. Blood testing prevents pregnancy complications caused by an antigen-antibody reaction of the Rh factors group of the mother and that attached to the fetus, which can result in fetus health complications such as hemolytic anemia (Nshimyumukiza et al. 12). Besides, blood testing helps in detecting blood-borne diseases such as Hepatitis B, HIV, and Rubella. Ultrasound can help in determining the growth and development of a fetus during pregnancy. According to Chitty medical experts can use Ultrasound to detect structural defects such as anencephaly and spinal Bifida, cleft lip, congenital heart, kidney malformations, and gastrointestinal defects. When some health complications are detected through prenatal screening tests, immunosuppressed drugs can help boost the fetus’s immune system.
Prenatal testing comes with more genetic risks due to its invasive nature. Blood and Ultrasound tests can place a pregnancy at a high risk of premature rupture of membranes, loss of the pregnancy, excessive bleeding, and infections. A research study conducted on the effects of prenatal screening tests among Latino Americans women found that prenatal testing may cause increased stress and anxiety among parents if abnormalities pose significant risks to the pregnancy (Chitty et al. 161). Parents may feel angry, anxious, guilty, or depressed about their prenatal results. In some instances, prenatal testing such as blood testing can create increased tension and negative relationship because the results can reveal unknown information about family identities. Prenatal testing procedures that require a buccal smear or blood sample carry real risks of miscarriage since it involves extraction of amniotic fluid sample around the fetus.
To have or not to have prenatal tests wholly lies on the mother’s decision. Nshimyumukiza et al., denotes that women may decide not to have prenatal tests because they may not get adequate information about prenatal testing, particularly invasive tests that are likely to harm the fetus. Some women may skip prenatal tests after learning about the risks such as premature rupture of membranes, loss of the pregnancy, excessive bleeding, and infections. Prenatal testing may jeopardize people’s physical health, privacy, and financial well-being.
In summary, prenatal testing techniques such as blood and Ultrasound tests provide a suitable background for understanding fetus blood type, Rh factor, and other abnormalities—that may put the future of mother and fetus at a higher risk. However, some of the risks associated with prenatal testing, such as loss of the pregnancy, excessive bleeding, and infections, can make a woman have a false impression and negative attitude towards prenatal screening tests. Medical experts need to provide suitable answers about the importance of having prenatal tests to help parents better decide whether or not to have prenatal screening tests.
Chitty, Lyn S., Louanne Hudgins, And Mary E. Norton. “Current Controversies in Prenatal Diagnosis 2: Cell‐Free DNA Prenatal Screening Should Be Used to Identify All Chromosome Abnormalities.” Prenatal Diagnosis 38.3 (2018): 160-165.
Nshimyumukiza, L., et al. “Cell‐Free DNA Noninvasive Prenatal Screening for Aneuploidy Versus Conventional Screening: A Systematic Review of Economic Evaluations.” Clinical Genetics 94.1 (2018): 3-21.