Couples sought for pregnancy study
Busselton couples planning a pregnancy have the opportunity to participate in a WA-first screening program.
The Perkins Institute study screens for 450 rare genetic diseases and aims to enable couples to make informed reproductive choices.
More than 150 soon-to-be parents have been recruited to the study since September and 130 have received their carrier screening results.
Researchers are looking for another 100 couples to take part.
Participation involves a pre-test counselling appointment and a blood sample for testing.
According to the Perkins Institute, nearly 90 per cent of couples at risk of having babies with genetic conditions had no family history of the disorders, and were unaware they could be carriers.
Broadwater Medical Centre obstetrician Dr Sarah Moore encouraged couples to take advantage of the program.
“In this day and age, couples are having less babies and so they want their babies to be healthy when they are born,” she said.
“This is just one way of doing some testing to identify if their baby has any risk of rare but serious disease that could influence their health.
“It’s a bit of insurance really, most people are keen to optimise the health of their baby so this is just one way of doing that.”
Five GP obstetricians in Busselton at Broadwater Medical Centre, Surgery 82 and Duchess Medical Centre are involved in the program. To find out more email carrierscreeningWA@uwa.edu.au.
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