Carrier Screening

Why does my partner need to get carrier screening?

If your carrier screening results show that you have a mutation (most people do!), getting carrier screening for your partner is crucial for understanding whether there is any risk of having a child with an inherited condition.

Most of the conditions included in carrier screening have something called “recessive inheritance”. These means that to be affected and have symptoms, a child has to inherit a copy of a gene with a mutation from each parent.

  • If you and your partner are carriers for mutations in the same gene, there’s a 1 in 4 (25%) chance for every pregnancy that your baby will inherit the mutation from both parents and develop symptoms of the associated condition. Your healthcare provider or a genetic counselor can help you understand your options once your have this information. You can also read more here.

  • If you and your partner are NOT carriers for mutations in the same gene (your partner could not have any mutations or she/he could have a mutation in a different gene), the risk of having a child with any of the inherited conditions screened for is very low.

Some healthcare providers recommend doing carrier screening on both partners at the same time (instead of waiting for the woman’s results to come back) to minimize the amount of time it takes to understand if there’s any risk to a pregnancy.

To understand the risk of having a child with an inherited condition, both partners need to have carrier screening.