Jack Kirby, the comic book artist behind The Incredible Hulk, drew inspiration for the character after witnessing a mother lift a car to rescue a baby – a testament to a mother’s natural instinct to protect her children and to provide the best possible care for them. But protection doesn’t begin after your child is born, it starts from the moment life blossoms inside you, or even from the moment you decide to be a parent.
An essential step in providing security, prenatal testing ensures that you stay informed about the status of your pregnancy. Aside from reducing anxieties and stress, it gives you peace of mind and also an expectation of what’s in store for the journey ahead, so that you are able to provide the best start for your child.
Previously, the detection rates for screening tests were not as good, resulting in doctors relying more on invasive diagnostic tests which carry up to 1% risk of miscarriage. Fortunately, safer and more accurate options such as iGene® are now available for mothers.
What is iGene®?
iGene® is a safe, and highly accurate (at more than 99%) Non-Invasive Prenatal Test (NIPT) that analyses the cell-free DNA present in your blood. This DNA comes from the placenta and circulates freely in the maternal bloodstream. Unlike other tests that also require the father’s DNA for analysis, iGene® delivers definitive results about the health of your baby from just 10 ml of maternal blood.
Using cutting edge Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) technology, iGene® is non-invasive. It detects chromosomal abnormalities such as Down Syndrome (Trisomy 21), Edwards Syndrome (Trisomy 18) and Patau Symdrome (Trisomy 13), as well as sex chromosome abnormalities like Klinefelter (XXY) and Turner (X) Syndrome.
iGene® test is suitable for at-risk expectant mothers who may be considering, or have been offered, invasive prenatal diagnostic testing for fetal trisomy. While the test can be done as early as 10 weeks, the recommended waiting time is till the 12th week, when the pregnancy is more stable.
How does iGene® work?
iGene® has a simple three-step procedure – checking your eligibility (understanding whether you are at high risk), taking the test, and receiving the results. Results will be received approximately after 7 working days, with a definitive “test positive” or “test negative” result. If negative, you can continue with your pregnancy. If positive, you will require a diagnostic test, such as an amniocentesis or Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS) to confirm the abnormality.
Unlike invasive diagnostic tests, iGene® poses absolutely no risk of miscarriage to the mother since no needles come anywhere near the baby. It is also one of the most accurate screening tests available in the market, with a proven accuracy rate of 99.96% compared to other NIPTs, an accuracy rate that was clinically validated on the largest study to date. As a more reliable assessment, it also reduces the need for unnecessary invasive procedures – in fact, it is estimated that 19 out of 20 amniocenteses can avoided with iGene®. Additionally, iGene® can be done as early as the 10th week of gestation, though the recommended waiting time is till the 12th week.
Giving birth to a baby with Down Syndrome can affect mothers of any age. However, chances of genetic abnormalities increase with age. It is especially important that women with high risk pregnancies get tested to identify any possible issues.
When it comes to life’s milestones, take no risks. Knowing more and earlier is always better, so that you have ample time to go through possible options with your doctor and anticipate any necessary arrangements that need to be made during or after the pregnancy. All in all, reducing uncertainties will go towards making your pregnancy a more smooth-sailing one.
This post is sponsored by iGene Diagnostics.
For a full list of FAQs and mothers’ testimonies, please visit www.igeneprenataltest.com/for-mothers/.
1. Non-invasive Prenatal Testing for Trisomy 21, 18 and 13 – Clinical Experience from 146,958 Pregnancies (Zhang H, et al. (2015) Ultrasound Obstet. & Gynecol.)
2. Comparisons With Current Screening Technologies