Prenatal DNA Test


With advancements in science and developments of new medical procedures, peace of mind can come before your child is born. If you are pregnant and you want paternity test results prior to giving birth, you may want to get a prenatal paternity test. With commercialization and mass availability of DNA testing even some OB-GYN’s are now offering prenatal paternity testing. A prenatal paternity test is just as accurate and just as standard as paternity test performed after child’s birth. Prenatal DNA testing is possible since human DNA remains basically unchanged from the point of child’s conception. It is inherited from mother and father. At a point of conception half of embryo’s DNA is donated from mother’s egg, and the other half is taken from male sperm.

Collection of DNA from mother and father for prenatal paternity test is performed painlessly using buccal swab. Buccal swab is a cotton wool bud on a long plastic stick, which is rubbed on the inside of person’s mouth. During this process loose cheek cells are collected, and there cells are then compared to prenatal sample. This test can be performed by mother and potential father themselves, or in a specialized laboratory depending on the purpose for the test. If this test is to be used in a pending court case, DNA collection must be done in court approved laboratories.

Collection of prenatal DNA from a developing child must be done by a specialist. It is performed by OB-GYN using one of two techniques:

  • Chorionic villus sampling (CVS). This procedure is performed by a specialist OB-GYN when embryo is between 11th and 15th week. OB-GYN collects cells from placenta either with catheter through vagina, or with syringe through abdomen.
  • Amniocentesis. This procedure can be performed between the 14th and 24th week of pregnancy. The OB-GYN collects loose fetal cells that have been released into the amniotic fluid by inserting a syringe into the abdomen.

Since these procedures can carry health risks for both mother and infant it is advisable for mothers to discuss them with their OB-GYN before proceeding with prenatal paternity test. Your OB-GYN will explain all possible complications that can develop during and post procedure. Women choosing prenatal paternity testing should chose obstetrician they trust or feel comfortable with.