Today there are safe tests of new generation. With the help of these tests, it is possible to detect abnormalities at the early pregnancy assessment.
The American genetic test is able to identify such diseases as Down syndrome, Edwards"s syndrome, Patau syndrome, Turner syndrome, and others at the 9th week of pregnancy. Accuracy of the method is very high and is equal to about 99%. The new technology is absolutely safe for the mother and for her baby. Various abnormalities can be detected by simply taking a woman"s blood from vein: according to experts, it contains very important information about the baby (fetal cells are updated, and the dead ones get into the bloodstream of a pregnant woman, they help to determine the DNA of the embryo).
At the moment doctors report of any congenital disease at late pregnancy. In Russia, the first screening is carried out during the 11-13th week of pregnancy. In 9% of cases, it can give a false positive result. So they conduct additional invasive studies: penetrating through the natural barriers of the body, the doctors pierce the womb of the mother with the needle and take amniotic fluid (this procedure is called amniocentesis), pinch off pieces of placental tissue (chorionic villus sampling) or take baby"s blood through a puncture of the umbilical cord (cordocentesis). Unfortunately, these methods are not always accurate, and in some cases lead to complications. We also note that children with genetic defects are born rather rarely: according to statistics, the risk that a healthy family can have a baby, not like the others, is about 5%.
Test for Down syndrome and other developmental disorders, which appeared in America, is now available in Russia. It can be underwent in any modern health care institution (for example, in the European Medical Center). But the cost of the examination is high (€ 1,125). The doctors send the tube with blood to California; only there the cells of the fetus can be properly "decoded". However, the Russian experts are sure that in the near future and they will have modern laboratories too, and non-invasive diagnosis of fetal DNA will become more accessible and cheaper. But so far, they have to work in the same old way: maybe it"s not so bad when you consider that the invasive methods have been used in Russia for a long time and they have accumulated enough of experience.