Science has had yet another advancement with the new prenatal paternity test. For almost 30 years it was known that there is fetal DNA present in the mother’s blood as early as the 10th week but due to the miniscule quantities it was until now not possible to analyze them.

Fetal DNA is present from the earliest stages of pregnancy, increasing as pregnancy progresses. The levels of fetal DNA are enough to be analysed at around the 10th week.

Progress in science for prenatal paternity testing

Over the years, the paternity testing during pregnancyhas been carried out using two different procedures called amniocentesis and chorionic villus samples (CVS). Little attention was given to the fact that these procedures are invasive and carry certain risks since they have always managed to deliver accurate and reliable results. With wellbeing in mind, further studies on the possibility of amplifying and analyzing the fetal DNA found in the mother’s blood obtained via a simple blood draw, brought forth the realization of a brand new kind of prenatal paternity test.

Amniocentesis and the Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS) in more detail

Amniocentesis: There is a specific time frame of between 15-20th weeks of pregnancy that this procedure can be carried out. The procedure is done by a gynecologist who would treat you to a local anesthetic. In combination with an ultrasound device, used to locate the exact location of the fetus, a needle is inserted into the abdomen until it reaches the womb. Amniotic fluid is then extracted. This fluid has to be submitted to the lab within a 24hour timeframe in order to ensure that the cells remain intact for testing. The risks of this procedure include a chance of harming the baby, miscarriage, amniotic fluid leakage, cramping and vaginal bleeding. This procedure can only be done on doctor’s orders.

Chorionic Villus Sampling: This procedure can be carried out earlier during pregnancy, generally between 10 – 12th weeks. In this procedure a tube or syringe is inserted, also treated with local anesthetic, into the vagina and the cervix. The main aim is to collect the Chorionic Villi which are little finger like pieces of tissue that are made up of the same DNA cells as the fetus. They origin from the same fertilized egg. This procedure is very uncomfortable and can only be done on doctor’s orders.

The reasons why one might want to proceed with a prenatal DNA paternity test are many. The most common is that an answer is wanted before the child is born for the father to make decision to recognize the child as his own or not. The new paternity test has made it much easier for this test to be done without the added stress of a the above procedures. One cannot ignore the risks, no matter how small they are.

Other articles about pregnancy and babies

In the older days pregnant woman would only rely on the possibility of guessing the baby’s gender.  In fact one of the old wives’ tales method uses cabbages to guess the baby gender.