It’s About Time Someone Pointed Out What A Racket Prenatal Tests Can Be

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Both of my pregnancies were “advanced maternal age.” I had my son when I was 38 and my daughter when I was 40. During both of those pregnancies, I heard many spiels about the varying types of genetic disorders children who emerge from an old, dusty womb were at risk for having.

The Boston Globe ran a story this week about the overselling of prenatal tests and the troubling outcome this is having for women. A range of these new tests have not been FDA approved and many doctors don’t even understand how to interpret the results. These revelations make the experience I had with the shit-show that is “advanced maternal age prenatal testing” make more sense.

The problem is, there is a huge difference between being able to detect a potential problem and diagnosing a life-threatening condition. These tests only do the former. Although their makers sell the tests on the basis that they are non-invasive and so much easier to go through than an amnio — any sort of positive result should still be verified by an amnio. This is where the information that pregnant women are getting is murky.

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