UAE: Depending on a couple’s need, genetic tests can help in a number of scenarios. Most of these also require in vitro fertilisation and implantation, which costs Dh30,000 per trial, on average.
To help couples find out if they carry genetic mutations that can be passed on to their children. This is done through a simple blood test.
Certain diseases can be passed on if only one parent has the mutation, known as dominant disorders. Others are passed on if both parents have the mutation, and examples of such illnesses include thalassaemia, sickle-cell anaemia and muscular dystrophy. X-linked disorders are commonly passed on if the mother is a carrier and she has a baby boy, and examples include severe autism, facial muscular dystrophy and haemophilia.
Dh10,000 per couple
Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis: To help couples ensure that they have a baby free from a particular genetic disease. The couple has to undergo IVF, and the embryos are then analysed to find the healthy ones for implantation.
Dh18,000 (excluding the charge for IVF)
Gender selection: To help couples have a child of a particular gender. This is typically used when a couple has a genetic disorder that is linked to the x-chromosome, and would therefore be likely to pass it on to a male child. Families can also select the gender of their child for balancing purposes. The couple has to undergo IVF, then comprehensive chromosomal screening is performed to identify healthy embryos of the desired gender that can be implanted.
Dh12,000 for all chromosomes (excluding IVF), or Dh8,000 for selected chromosomes for family balancing (excluding IVF)
HLA type testing or matching: To help couples conceive a child who can donate healthy tissue to cure an affected child. This is done by first testing the HLA on the affected child. Then the couple undergoes IVF, and only healthy embryos are checked to see if they have the HLA type of the affected child. If an embryo with an HLA match is found, it is implanted. Otherwise, another IVF trial is conducted till an embryo with the HLA match is available. When the baby is delivered, the stem cells are used to treat the affected child.
Dh18,000 (excluding IVF but with pre-implantation genetic diagnosis plus chromosomal screening)
Comprehensive chromosomal screening: To help couples avoid having children with chromosomal abnormality-related diseases, such as Down syndrome, or to avoid repeat miscarriages or failed IVF trials. This is recommended for couples with advanced maternal age, low quality sperm or a history of recurrent miscarriages or failed IVF trials. The couple has to undergo IVF so that the test can be conducted and the healthy embryos can be implanted.
Dh12,000 (excluding IVF)
© Gulf NewsFeb 2017