What is Carrier DNA Testing?
Being a carrier means that you may not be showing the signs of a particular disease, but you’re carrying the genetic variant within you that can allow the disease to be passed on to children. Having carrier DNA testing done can help you to determine if there are any particular diseases or variants that you need to be aware of before deciding to have children.
Having DNA testing done can tell you a lot about not only your health and any diseases you might be carrying, but it can also tell you about your heritage and any particular issues that might come about due to nationality or ethnic factors. Some just by reason of ethnicity can be carriers of a particular genetic variant that they might want to be aware of before deciding to pass it on to children.
Carrier DNA testing is actually quite easy to perform. The testing is done with just a saliva swab taken in a doctor’s office or clinic. It takes just a few minutes to collect the sample and it does not involve any blood draws or needles. The collection of needed DNA is very simple. There are even home-based collection kits so you can collect the sample yourself and send it in for the results.
Once the sample is collected and sent in for testing, the laboratory will test for any abnormalities in the fluid and the results are typically available within about 2 to 3 weeks. Depending upon any concerns you might have, you can have the results mailed to you or have the testing done by a physician so they can talk with you about any results from the testing.
Carrier DNA Testing can determine things like whether you might be a carrier for diseases such as cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy or many other illnesses that can be passed on as well as the diseases that might be transferred due to heritage. There are a few things you do want to be aware of, however, such as the fact that the carrier DNA testing may not be able to tell you to what degree you’re carrying the genetic variant, but only that you’re a carrier. That means that although you’re a carrier, your children may or may not get the disease.
Other things to be aware of are the fact that genetic tests do not offer the cure, only the diagnosis. You will want to consult your physician for treatment plans. Also know that while carrier DNA testing has come a long way, no test is 100% accurate. But having a carrier DNA test done can help to give you the information you may need to make important decisions regarding the future.