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What kind of genetic tests are available in the first trimester?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner
A blood test is the first means to determine whether your baby may have birth defects. Ninety percent of women are considered to be at minimal risk of having babies with birth defects. Genetic testing may be done on the parents before pregnancy, if there is cause for concern that one or both might be carriers of genetic disease. Once you're pregnant, blood testing for concerns such as Down's syndrome may be done as early as the tenth week of pregnancy. Some women, especially those with family with birth defects and older women, might opt for genetic testing in the form of chorionic villus sampling (CVS) in weeks 10-12. This test can check for chromosomal defects like Down's syndrome or genetic disorders like muscular dystrophy.

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