What is Cystic fibrosis?
Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a lifelong infection that can affect all the organs of the body. It usually causes issues with digestion and breathing. It causes many health-related issues but it does not affect the mental health or appearance of the individual. There is no known cure for this disease but I can be treated.
It is a genetic disorder that is caused by a gene that is passed from parent to child. Screening the DNA of the parent-to-be can tell if there are any chances for the child to inherit this disease.
How early can we get the prenatal tests to check for the possibility of CF in the unborn child?
This testing can be done as early as 10 weeks of pregnancy.
How is prenatal diagnostic testing done?
Prenatal tests can be done in two ways which include amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling (CVS).
Amniocentesis: It is usually is done between 15 and 20 weeks of pregnancy. In this, a very thin needle is used to take a sample of amniotic fluid from the uterus.
CVS (chorionic villus sampling): It is done between 10 and 13 weeks of pregnancy. A small sample of tissue is taken from the placenta. The cells are then checked for the presence of the CF gene.
Getting CF tested leads to fewer cases of affected children born with it. The outcome of the test can help in management following a positive test and can also prepare the parents mentally to manage the treatment of the baby.