Genetic testing can be an important part of planning for life’s many uncertainties. While genetic testing can potentially yield valuable information at any time, there are some specific situations where greater benefits become available.
Genetic Testing Benefits for Family Planning
Perhaps the most prominent reason for the rapid growth of genetic testing is to facilitate better family planning.
For example, as MedLinePlus explains, genetic testing in the early stages of pregnancy can help identify genetic mutations that may require difficult pre-term decisions or early intervention after delivery.
Genetic testing prior to pregnancy can also help couples decide if, when or whether to have biological children.
Genetic Testing Benefits for Personal Health Planning
While family planning is currently the most visible reason people choose to undergo genetic testing, it is far from the only reason these tests are becoming more widely requested.
As the respected Mayo Clinic explains, genetic testing is the best way to learn about your own genome.
It is like getting your own personalized guidance about very individual instructions your DNA may be carrying.
When you know more information about your own genes, you can anticipate health issues that you may not otherwise get any advance warning about.
While this may feel somewhat stressful in the short-term, it can lead to greater peace of mind in the long-term since you are no longer waiting and worrying.
Genetic Testing Benefits for Accurate Diagnosis
Sometimes health symptoms can seem so generalized that it is very hard to pin down an accurate diagnosis with other available health tests.
As the University of Michigan School of Medicine explains, sometimes several diseases may share similar symptoms.
In pre-genetic testing days, this could often mean having to go through a process of trial-and-error with different treatments until finding one that seemed to work better.
Today, genetic testing can give more information about whether specific genes are present that are associated with particular diseases. This can lead to a more accurate diagnosis and, in turn, more rapid, targeted and effective treatment.
Genetic Testing Benefits for Research and Development
Genetic testing is definitely vital for family and personal planning purposes. But it is also playing an invaluable role in helping to improve the lives of others both now and in the future.
Genetic testing can identify population traits that can be linked back to early warning signs of serious illness or disease, as the Genetic Alliance UK points out.
Genetic testing can also identify individuals who might be interested and eligible to participate in clinical trials of new treatments. This can be particularly important in cases where other treatments have failed to yield desired results.
Genetic Testing Benefits for Better Quality of Life
As we mentioned earlier here, genetic testing is associated with both stress and peace of mind.
But for many people today, the temporary anxiety of undergoing genetic testing is outweighed by the long-term removal of uncertainty and worry.
Genetic testing can help on a multi-generational level, impacting you, your children and your children’s children.
The National Human Genome Research Institute explains that genetic testing isn’t just used to diagnose or rule out a disease.
It can also be used to identify genes that simply put you at greater risk for developing or passing along a disease (carrier). This knowledge, in turn, may pave the way to prevent that disease from occurring at all or induce a milder version.
Genetic Testing Benefits for a Better Future For All
On a different but related note, genetic testing is being developed to help improve the health of pets, grow more resilient crops, produce new food sources, develop improved medications and so much more.
Genetic testing has the potential to improve life for all.