Invasive Prenatal Paternity Testing
We can begin by stating that prenatal paternity testing can be divided into two in terms of sample collection. The sample collection for prenatal paternity tests can be either invasive or non invasive. When we talk of invasive tests, we are talking about tests that require cutting or piercing through tissue and because of this have certain inherent risks. Non Invasive tests on other hand do not require cutting or entering tissue and use fetal DNA in blood samples taken from the expectant mother.
Amniocentesis and Chorionic villus sampling are considered to be invasive. As many women are aware, these tests require an obstetrician/ gynecologist to use a needle or catheter to enter the womb either through the abdomen or through the vagina. These tests are also called diagnostic tests because they are often used to determine whether the unborn child suffers from any hereditary or autoimmune illnesses. This is normally especially recommended to women who fall pregnant after the age of 35.
Diagnostic tests are done following prenatal screening tests such as ultrasounds which might indicate that the unborn child has any autoimmune diseases (such as Down’s syndrome), but only a diagnostic test can confirm this.
Back to the issue of paternity DNA testing in the prenatal stage:
Amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling (CVS) are invasive sampling techniques that can be used to confirm paternity. Unfortunately, they do carry some rather unpleasant risks which can include feverishness, loss of blood, infection and worst case scenario you could also lose your baby.
Today non invasive prenatal tests are available as well; these tests are an improvement on invasive prenatal tests because they can be done using a blood draw from the alleged mother. There is no need for any medical investigations and moreover, there are no risks of miscarrying as happens with amnio and CVS. The non invasive prenatal paternity test is possible because of the fetal DNA that can be found in the maternal blood.