Posted: August 29th, 2013
Couples should take gene testing before getting married
Couples should take gene testing before getting married
Doctors use gene tests to genetic disorders by observing changes in genes and chromosomes. People who have had a family history of a type of genetic disorders find it necessary to undergo genetic testing. Gene testing is necessary as doctors use the test to check for disorders in unborn babies, find out whether a person is carrying a genetic disease, and the possibility of passing the disease to his or her children, and confirm the diagnosis. Gene testing done on newborns enables the parents whose children have genetic disorders to start treatment early. This improves their condition, and it ensures that the children are in a better position to take care of themselves later in life. Gene testing removes uncertainties and puts people at ease concerning their health. When people know their condition, they are able to take care of themselves better. Scientists and doctors have developed many gene tests (National library of Medicine, 2011). Couples who are considering to get married should consider gene testing since this would enable them make informed decisions when they decide to have children.
Couples who undergo gene testing before they are married usually reduce their chances of having children with genetic conditions. Some of the gene tests let the couples know whether they are carriers of some gene mutations. Some of these gene mutations can pass on to their children. Parents who do not want their children to be born with genetic conditions usually opt not to have any children. Some of them usually undergo treatment that reduces the risk of their children developing such conditions before they are even born. For instance, scientists developed a technique, which will help couples who are carriers of genetic diseases to have IVF fertilized babies who are free from any genetic conditions. The procedure involves implanting the embryos, which do not have the disease (ScienceDaily, 2011). When couples know their genetic conditions, it helps them take precautionary measures. They are better placed to take care of themselves, and they can make better decisions concerning their health.
Couples who decide to undergo genetic testing before they are married are usually in a better position to avoid problems. Many couples face difficulties when one of them later develops genetic conditions later in life. They also face problems when they have children with genetic problems. In some cases, they may blame each other for their children’s condition. They usually use many resources such as money and time spent on doctors visits. These problems cause strain and tension in marriages. Some couples might not be strong enough to see each other through the problems. Such situations eventually lead to an end in marriages and family break ups. Couples who undergo gene testing can avoid such problems. They usually know what they have to deal with, and they are prepared for any eventualities. They have the time to visit counselors who then assists them with their issues. This makes them equipped and ready to deal with their problems. When couples know their condition before they are married, they get the chance to learn more about what they can do to help each other. They start learning about the treatment methods that are available, and the chances of survival for people with genetic conditions. They also learn about how they can handle any difficulties that can arise, and they are able to adjust easily in case one of them gets a genetic condition. Working together to deal with the problems makes their relationship stronger.
Couples who choose to undergo genetic testing before they are married usually have the opportunity to look for other alternatives. For instance, when couples decide not to have children because they do not want children with genetic disorders, they have the opportunity to start looking for other means through which they can get children. They have the time to look for opportunities such as adoption, or using surrogate mothers in case the wife is the carrier of the specific genetic condition. By doing this, they are also able to handle the idea that they cannot have their own children. Couples intending to get married can also choose not to get married when one of them is identified as a carrier. They can also choose to abort the child in case of any genetic condition (Flaman, 2002)
Some of the critics are not in favor of couples undergoing genetic testing. They argue that it has become a way of encouraging designer babies, and it has encouraged abortion. This is because some of the prospective parents who discover that their children are at risk of developing a genetic disorder opt to have abortions rather than go through with the pregnancy. They do not want to face the difficulties of having children with genetic conditions. The only babies that are born are therefore, the ones without any problems in their genes. Parents should not continue having the idea that they are only supposed to have perfect children. Even if the children do not develop a genetic condition, they may have another disabling condition that is primarily brought about by environmental factors. The parents should instead learn how to accept their children as they are. Some of the environmental conditions, such as accidents, can disable a person the same way a genetic condition can.
Insisting on genetic testing before marriage has reduced the spread and existence of some of the genetic conditions such as thalassemia. This has especially been seen in Cyprus, where the church, family and the rest of the society usually discourage marriage between people who are carriers of a specific disorder. People are expected to marry those who do not pose the risk of passing the genetic condition to their children. Parents who discover that the children they are expecting have a high likelihood of developing the genetic condition are encouraged to terminate the pregnancy. This means that the children born are free from any genetic condition. This has tremendously decreased the number of children with thalassemia. Eighty percent of this decrease can be attributed to prenatal diagnosis, which enables the couple to have selective abortion. Couples who are at realize that they are at risk of having children with a genetic condition, usually opt to have fewer children (Patrinos & Ansorge, 2009).
Genetic testing is important, especially for couples who are intending to get married. Couples who are not yet married should consider undertaking the tests since it provides them with many options and alternatives. Couples are usually in a better position to make informed decisions when they have the necessary information. They can decide to look for other alternatives of having children, such as adoption or using IVF. They can also decide not to get married. Couples can decide to learn more about the condition, and this helps them know the best way of managing the problem. The couple can avoid the marital problems that usually arise whenever there is such a problem. This means that they do not have to suffer a broken marriage and a broken family. Genetic testing is therefore, essential for couples who are intending to get married.
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