Pregnant Women Can Test for Down Syndrome Even Earlier​ With Simple New Test​

pregnant woman blood test

If you're pregnant, you may have wondered: might my baby have Down syndrome or some other genetic disorder? Well, a new blood test called cell-free DNA testing will tell you the answer with up to 99 percent accuracy -- plus, you can take it as early as your first trimester.

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For women who can't stand the agony of not knowing, this test is a godsend ... only what is it, exactly?

Well, "cell-free" means you don't need actual cells from your baby, which is how other more invasive tests work like amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling (CVS). Instead, cell-free DNA testing analyzes your own blood during pregnancy, which contains scraps of your baby's genetic material -- defects included.

More from The Stir: Why Prenatal Testing for Autism Is Problematic: Special Needs Living

The downside? Cell-free DNA testing is less accurate at picking up other genetic disorders like Edward syndrome (96 percent) and Patau syndrome (92 percent).

Still, it's nice to know that moms have yet another option for prenatal testing at their disposal. The more, the merrier!

Would you get this test?

 

Image via Dmitry Melnikov/shutterstock

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