Prenatal tests becoming popular in Japan

Prenatal tests becoming popular in Japan

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These days, Japanese women are taking the new type of prenatal test which warns of the possible chromosome abnormalities in their unborn babies. Until now, a total of 1,534 pregnant women have opted for the test. Within three months of the launch – since April 2013 – an increased number of pregnant women is opting to take the test.

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The test includes a simple maternal blood sampling which makes it safe and was conducted at 22 medical institutions across the nation. This will also reflect a growing interest in the prenatal diagnosis as pregnancy later in life is on the rise. Out of the 1,534 women who took the test – 29 mothers-to-be or 1.9 percent – received test results which indicated possible chromosome abnormalities in the fetuses.

For about 16 women, Down syndrome was suspected, while trisomy 18 syndrome was suspected for nine of them and trisomy 13 syndrome was suspected for four women. Out of the 29 women, detailed conditions were known for 11. Fetal chromosome abnormalities were confirmed for at least six women through follow-up testing, including amniotic fluid sampling.

Two women opted to terminate their pregnancies. There were also cases where some women decided not to take the test after receiving counseling.