Not long ago, experts devised a technology to support women of their pregnancy by knowing the paternity long before they give birth. To date, prenatal paternity DNA testing is now available starting five weeks of pregnancy.
The paternity DNA testing is performed accurately through several methods. Options include amniocentesis, chorionic villus sampling and fetal genetic material testing during the five to thirteen weeks of pregnancy.
Amniocentesis is a type of paternity DNA testing that is invasive. Most of the time, this is performed in the later stages of pregnancy. To perform this method, obstetrician trans-abdominally withdraws a small amount of amniotic fluid. The amniotic fluid being withdrawn is about 10ml. This is an excellent sample for paternity testing because amniotic fluid is just as accurate as the tests conducted after the child is born.
After undergoing amniocentesis, results are often released after three to five working days after specimen collection. Amniocentesis costs just the same as all other paternity DNA testing. However, obstetrician may opt to charge additional fees for collecting the sample prenatally.
Chronic villus sampling is another kind of invasive paternity DNA testing. Unlike amniocentesis, chronic villus sampling is generally performed at early stages of pregnancy. Pregnant women under eighth to 13th week of pregnancy can undergo this procedure.
In performing chronic villus sampling, a catheter is inserted through the cervix. Then, obstetrician obtains sampling from a sufficient amount of fetal chorionic villi, or trophoblastic tissue, which is taken from the outside of the gestational sack by gentle suction. This trophoblastic tissue is used for the paternity DNA testing. Similar to amniocentesis, this procedure is also as accurate as the test conducted after the child is born.
It may be easy in performing such methods; yet, worth noting are the risks to the fetus posed by both amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling. There are results of some studies showing increased chances for fetal loss by 0.5% for amniocentesis and 1% for chorionic villus sampling. That is why, it is highly recommended that patients who are considering chorionic villus sampling or amniocentesis prenatal DNA paternity testing to consult with their obstetrician before initiating the test.
For other options, a non-invasive paternity DNA testing called fetal genetic material testing is available too. This is in response to the risks to fetus posed by earlier mentioned invasive methods. The technology used in fetal genetic material testing allows obstetricians to determine the paternity of an unborn child through only maternal blood sample. The technology separates the necessary foetal cells from the mother’s blood circulation. This foetal cells are the sampling utilized in determining the paternity.
Extraction separating primordial foetal cells from the maternal blood samples starts once all samples are obtained by the laboratory. Experts say this procedure can be done about five to 12 weeks of fetal gestation. In addition, fetal genetic material testing is cost effective and safer compared to other traditional paternity DNA testing.
Considering all options, many experts say the safest to know the paternity of the child is by using the umbilical cord blood at the time of child’s delivery. Testers can provide results after three to five working days.