5 Things to Know About DNA Testing Before Ordering a Test


Before going for genetic DNA testing, here are some things to know.

1. Understand the Limits of What’s Possible

There are many different types of DNA tests that provide different results. Determine what information you’re trying to learn and know what type of data you can and cannot find out through such a test. A home DNA test will capture approximately half to one million different areas of your genome, not the three billion base pairs that make up the human genome.

2. Be Prepared for Anything

You get to know more about yourself by taking an ancestry DNA test. There are some hidden secrets that can only be unraveled with DNA testing. Maybe your primary purpose for opting for a DNA test was to find out about your ancestry. Instead, the result provided information about unexpected paternity.

In some cases, depending on the test you use, you may discover that you have the potential to develop a certain disease. Before you take the test, make sure you’re ready to hear the results.

3. DNA Test Options Available

When it comes to DNA testing, you have many different options available to consider. These include the Y chromosome (Y-DNA) test and Mitochondrial DNA test (mtDNA test). While the Y-DNA test is specifically designed to determine the direct father’s inline ancestry, the mtDNA test explores the mother’s inline heritage. Whereas the former is for men only, the latter can be used by both men and women.

Another test option to consider is the autosomal DNA test. This test is not gender-specific unlike a Y-DNA (father’ -inline ancestry) and mtDNA test (mother’s inline heritage). This test does not focus on the specific line of your family tree. Rather, it covers all aspect. Also, the test works perfectly for both men and women. To perform an autosomal DNA test, patients will have to provide a saliva sample and nothing more.

4. Are There Any Privacy Risks?

For DNA testing, confidentiality and discreetness are top priorities. If you’re concerned about privacy risks, you are not alone. But one thing is sure–no company will hold claim to ownership rights with regards to DNA testing. You have full rights over your DNA.

5. Consider the Medical Follow-Up Required After Testing

If after the test is carried out something serious is discovered in your genes, you might need the help of a professional to interpret the result. You might benefit from genetic counselling to come to terms with the little you know.

Some results may not be easy to interpret while others might have medical implications for you and your family. Using online resources to help interpret genetic information may not be the best option. Check to see if the DNA testing company offers counselling or further medical services. If not, locate a genetic clinic closest to you. Keep in mind that not all experts in genetic clinics are well-trained to understand DNA results. Be sure to work with an experienced professional.

Before proceeding with DNA testing, it is best to think carefully about whether you want to get answers to your curiosity.


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