A simple new blood test for pregnant mums, which detects conditions such as Down’s syndrome, is being developed as a safer alternative to existing procedures.
The new method is already being offered to families at high risk of genetic condition muscular dystrophy, which only affects boys. This involves taking a blood sample from a pregnant mum’s arm, which contain tiny amounts of her baby’s DNA.
With one in 100 babies being miscarried, this simple procedure will be a much safer option for pregnant women wanting to test for Down’s syndrome. The current amniocentesis procedure involves putting a needle into the womb and removing fluid surrounding the unborn baby.
“This could remove the agony that couples experience over whether to have an invasive test,” explains Lyn Chitty, of Great Ormond Street Hospital.
An estimated 25,000 British women a year have amniocentesis tests for Down’s syndrome. Worried about having a blood test whilst pregnant?