Your provider may recommend that you be screened through blood tests to determine whether you're a carrier for a particular genetic disorder, depending on your racial background and family history. Genetic screening tests are optional, and the decision to have them is yours. You may decline the screening. Or you may agree to the tests so that you can be as informed as possible about the potential effects of genetics on your unborn baby's health. If you and your partner should discover that you carry genes that put your child at greater risk for a potentially life-threatening disease, your provider will likely advise you to have a genetic test such as chorionic villus sampling (CVS) or amniocentesis to find out if your baby has the illness. This will help prepare you ahead of time to either offer your child the best medical help available or terminate the pregnancy. The most common of these inherited disorders include:
Originally published in You & Your Baby: Pregnancy.
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