Gabrielle Stewart of Denver is pregnant and over 35 years old, which puts her in the risk group with 1 in 10 expectant moms recommended to get a fetal DNA test for birth defects. But like many women facing an amniocentesis test, which involves a chance of pregnancy loss and a six-inch needle drawing amniotic fluid, Stewart was hesitant.
“I was not keen on amniocentesis, because I was very conscious of its 1 in 300 chance of ending my pregnancy,” said Stewart. “So when my doctor offered a non-invasive test, I was delighted. That was a huge relief not putting my baby at risk.”
Pregnant women can now opt to detect genetic abnormalities with a new, DNA blood test that carries no risk or pain. As a result, more pregnant patients of University of Colorado School of Medicine physicians are participating in testing for genetic abnormalities. Yet many women are not familiar with this option.