Much of the advance in prenatal diagnosis has come from major breakthroughs in molecular techniques which have greatly enhanced our knowledge of many genetic diseases and thus allowed the development of precise diagnostic tests for these conditions. However, hand in hand with the immense possibilities these new techniques offer, come problems that are not so easily resolved. For example, quality assurance and standards have to be rigorously set and consistently achieved in every laboratory involved in genetic testing. Often this is difficult to achieve because of the lack of universally accepted quality assurance programmes.

Ethical dilemmas have arisen surrounding the screening and identification of genetic markers responsible with late onset conditions. Is it appropriate to offer or perform prenatal diagnosis when it is known that the condition only develops late in life (e.g. Huntington's disease)? The abuse of prenatal tests is a very real issue that will challenge society both ethically and legally in a multitude of ways. The practising obstetrician will have to be aware of some of the issues in order to manage affected patients appropriately. In the future, current arguments about the best Down syndrome screening test will seem very simplistic and probably very naïve indeed.

Getting Back Into Shape After The Pregnancy

Getting Back Into Shape After The Pregnancy

Once your pregnancy is over and done with, your baby is happily in your arms, and youre headed back home from the hospital, youll begin to realize that things have only just begun. Over the next few days, weeks, and months, youre going to increasingly notice that your entire life has changed in more ways than you could ever imagine.

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