Conceiving and bearing a child is a blessing in a couple’s life. While they are lost in rejoicing the good news, they often ignore the fact that they can be passing some serious genetic disorders to their child. Along with the features and traits, a child also inherits genetic disorders which their parents are the carrier.
According to World Health Organization (WHO), 10 in every 1000 live births suffer from genetic disorders. Genetic disorders are a type of disorders that run in the family genes. “You might not be aware of it, but you could be a carrier of a disorder. In Arab countries where 40% to 50% of Consanguinity first cousins marriages takes place, the risk of having a child affected with a genetic disorder is as high as 19.7%,” says Dr. Rupali Chopra from Igenomix.
Genetic disorders are one of the leading causes of infant mortality in the Arab countries. Alpha Thalassemia, Glycine Encephalopathy, Haemochromatosis, Cystic Fibrosis, Polycystic Kidney Disorders are the most common genetic disorders prevailing in the Arab countries. Alpha Thalassemia is the most predominant genetic disorder affecting 15.30% of the population.
Genetic disorders are not curable, but they can be prevented with Igenomix’s Carrier Genetic Test (CGT). CGT is an important family planning test to determine the risk of having a child affected with genetic disorders. CGT is carried out with a simple blood test that can prevent serious genetic disorders. Many of these disorders are without treatment and many of them are fatal.
Dr. Rupali adds: “If both the partners are carriers of the genetic disorder, there is an increase in the risk of having an affected child, approximately by 25%. If high risk of transmitting a genetic disorder is identified, the couples should go for Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD).”
PGD screens the embryos for the genetic mutation wherein both the parents are a carrier of genetic disorder. PGD enables selection of those embryos which are not affected by the genetic disorder. Couples who are already undergoing IVF should consider additional pre-conception screening to identify any genetic disorder which their baby might be at an increased risk of developing.