Thursday, December 27, 2018

What genetic tests does an egg donor need ?

Accepting eggs from an anonymous donor can be extremely difficult, and it involves a major leap of faith ! You have to trust that your doctor that will select the right donor for you - someone who is healthy, fertile and is a good physical match.
One of the concerns which a lot of patients have is that they don't know the family history or the genetic history of the donor. Their worry is that if their child has an illness, will this ignorance impact the quality of medical care the child receives?
The truth is is that it will not, because no matter what your family history is, your pediatrician will be do whatever is needed for your child, irrespective of whether someone in the family has had a particular illness or not.
This is why while doctors routinely take a family history, the truth is that it really doesn't affect that individual child's medical treatment, which is why in one sense it's a completely irrelevant question. After all, the treatment if asthma remains the same, whether or not there is a family history of it or not !
Lots of clinics in the US tom-tom the fact that they do extensive panels of genetic tests for their egg donors. The truth is that the vast majority of these tests are actually pointless - they are done, since because they are available, and they help to allay the patient's misplaced concerns.
However, they don't really add any medical value, and just provide a false sense of assurance. They should be used very selectively - for example, screening for CF in a Caucasian population, or for thalassemia in Indians. More is not always better in medicine !
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