Do I need prenatal diagnostics

July 20th, 2010 by admin

How is your baby doing? In the close past the answer to this question could be given only after baby’s birth. But parents are impatient to know the answer as early as possible.

Not long ago parents had to wait till birth. But now prenatal diagnostics to a certain degree allows to get detailed information on their baby’s health even in 6 weeks after conception.

Prenatal diagnostics is not always salubrious as sometimes it leads to certain danger for a baby. This analysis is helpful for those parents who have specific reasons for anxiety. In this case the benefit of prenatal diagnostics is much greater than the risk connected with carrying out this procedure. Prenatal diagnostics is indispensible for the following groups of women:

  • older than 35;
  • women who have cases of hereditary diseases in their family or women who are carriers of such diseases;
  • those who had infectious diseases, such as German measles or toxoplasmosis, as it can obstruct the fetal growth;
  • women with unknown substances detected in their blood, that can be harmful for growth of a baby;
  • those who had previous unsuccessful pregnancies and children with birth traumas;

Generally prenatal diagnostics does not detect any evident defects. In these cases an additional genetic expertise is necessary. The data obtained can be applied in making a decision, concerning future pregnancies as well.

Prenatal diagnostics

If as a result of prenatal diagnostics fetal growth anomalies are detected, then the question of pregnancy continuation unavoidably arises. This decision is up to the family. Decision to save the pregnancy is usually made by those parents who are sure they will love their baby born with evident malformations, or those who are against abortions in any circumstances. Results of prenatal diagnostics will warn spouses of what they should expect and will give a family an opportunity to start emotional and practical preparations for accepting a baby.

Many make up their mind to interrupt a pregnancy when the test shows an anomaly that can be lethal or entail severe complications. In this case a consultation of a geneticist is necessary that will confirm the diagnosis.

Most of the families having necessary data, remembering useful advice of a geneticist or a doctor, try to start a new pregnancy with a hop that it will lead to better result. And this is quite possible.

Prenatal fetal treatment

In some cases a prenatal treatment of a fetus is possible. It includes; blood transfusion (serological conflict), surgery (for example, to perform urinary bladder drainage), enzymes or steroids prescription, which can contribute to lungs development of a fetus that can be born prematurely.

With the development of new technologies ever more types of prenatal surgery will be applied in medicine. However one should take into account that even confirmed by high-tech hardware prenatal diagnosis is not absolute. A very hasty decision to interrupt pregnancy sometimes results in abortion of a healthy fetus.

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How to control pregnancy

July 20th, 2010 by admin

Which analyses should be taken within pregnancy? What does doctor pay attention to during examination? Clinical blood analysis, urine analysis, body mass control.

How to control pregnancy

Clinical blood tests during pregnancy
Clinical blood analysis within pregnancy is conducted several times, especially in the second half of the pregnancy; repeated blood investigations allow to timely detect the diseases, that require special treatment. All the pregnant two times (in the first and in the second half of pregnancy) take the blood from elbow vein for special test (Wassermann and Sachs-Georgi tests). If the disease is dectected, patients are treated in venereologic clinic with obligatory participation of expected baby’s father in treatment.

Blood group and Rhesus factor must be detected; Rhesus-negative blood of a mother often causes hemolytic disease of a newborn. If a mother has Rhesus-negative blood, it is necessary for her husband to take the blood test. If a father has Rhesus-positive blood and fetus has inherited father’s Rhesus factor, than Rhesus conflict arises between mother and fetus that can lead to intrauterine death, premature birth hemolytic disease symptoms.

Urine tests during pregnancy
Kidneys function with great effort during pregnancy as they remove metabolism products both from pregnant woman and from growing fetus. That is why urine of a pregnant should be examined within each visit to antenatal clinic. If urine contains protein the pregnant is registered for future extra tests and if protein presence goes up she is hospitalized.

Body mass increase control
Weighing of a pregnant is done during each examination no less than once a month in the first half of the pregnancy and each 2 weeks in the second half of the pregnancy. She is weighed without clothes, after urination and bowel emptying.

Analyzing mother’s blood for ACG presence (human chorionic gonadotropin)
This analyzis can be the ground for referring to amniopunction test for Down syndrome detection. Scientists discovered that increased level of hCG in blood of a pregnant woman means that she runs a risk of giving birth to a baby with Down syndrome.

More precise analysis can be done by following blood test for Alpha-fetoprotein presence and Estriol level.

Alpha-fetoprotein analysis in mother’s blood serum
Alpha-fetoprotein is a substance, secreted by fetus. Its increased concentration in mother’s blood may be a symptom of nervous system damage: spine softening, lack of brain or its parts.

Decreased concentration of the substance may be a sign of Down syndrome or other chromosome defect. However each such diagnosis requires confirmation by additional analyses.

The abovementioned test is done between 16-th and 18-th weeks of pregnancy. For this purpose mother’s blood is taken for analysis. If Alpha-fetoprotein level in blood is too high, the second test is done. If it supports preliminary results, it’s necessary to get consultation of a geneticist, to do ultrasound investigation in order to determine the age of pregnancy or fetal growth defects, or to do amniopunction to estimate Alpha-fetoprotein and Acetylcholine esterase level in fetal fluid.

Usually high Alpha-fetoprotein concentration indicates the existence of more than one fetus or greater term of pregnancy. But despite this a doctor can prescribe additional rest and increased vigilance with high level since there is a great risk of small weight of a newborn or of preterm delivery.

The analysis itself is fully safe for mother and her child, as well as any standard blood test. But if you\\’ ve got bad result, you must do additional tests and get a consultation from an expert in maternity and childbirth.

Additional diagnostics methods

Fetal blood sampling
In this investigation blood is taken from umbilical cord or portal vein of fetus. It allows to detect the same disorders as fetoscopy, and it is more safe as well.

Fetal skin sampling
This method is applied if some skin diseases are detected. A small sample of skin is taken for investigation during this procedure.Метод этот употребляется при выявлении некоторых заболеваний кожи.

Magnetic resonance investigation
This method promises to be perspective, however now it is being specified and improved.

Radiography (X-Ray)
This method of analyzing a baby in prenatal period is now almost fully replaced with ultrasound scanning.

With the help of echocardiography it is possible to detect heart disease of a fetus.

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