An Overview of Paternity DNA Test While Pregnant

There are situations where an expectant mother has just one question- Who is the father of my unborn child? This question is usually accompanied with a feeling of distress alongside the overwhelming demands of pregnancy. But amidst the rush of emotions and uncertainty,  is it possible to do a DNA test while pregnant?  Yes! This type of DNA test is called Prenatal Paternity DNA test. 

In this article, we will be discussing all that you need to know about doing a DNA test while pregnant  

Understanding Prenatal DNA Testing

Prenatal DNA testing involves comparing the DNA of the unborn baby with that of the alleged father to determine if they are related. Although the baby is still in the womb, the baby’s DNA can be found in the mother’s bloodstream or the cells of the womb. The mother would need to provide certain samples (which will be discussed later in this article) from which the baby’s DNA will be extracted. The alleged father would also be required to provide a DNA sample. Both DNA samples (alleged father and unborn baby) are then analyzed in the laboratory to identify similar genetic markers. If the tested man is the biological father of the unborn baby, both will share similar genetic markers. 

There are three ways to establish paternity before the child is born

1. Non-invasive Prenatal Paternity (NIPP)– When a woman is pregnant, the baby’s DNA is present in her blood. To determine paternity, the baby’s DNA is extracted from the blood of the pregnant woman, and compared to the DNA sample of the alleged father. The process involves a simple blood draw from the mother, and a cheek swab from the alleged father. 

This test procedure can be performed from the 8th week of pregnancy and is completely safe for both mother and the child.

2. Amniocentesis– Doing this procedure requires amniotic fluid, which surrounds the baby in the womb. During the procedure, the doctor utilizes ultrasound to insert a needle through the abdomen into the uterus. A tiny amount of amniotic fluid is collected with the needle and examined. The DNA collected from the fluid will be analyzed and compared to the DNA sample of the alleged father to determine paternity. This test can be performed from the 14th to 20th week of pregnancy. 

Among the risks of doing this procedure  include a slight possibility of miscarriage and injury to the unborn child. Other side effects may include vaginal bleeding, irritation around the injection site,  cramps, and amniotic fluid leakage. This paternity testing procedure requires the consent of a doctor. 

3. Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS)– This procedure also uses a thin needle. The doctor utilizes ultrasound to insert a needle into the vagina through the cervix to collect chorionic villi. These are small pieces of tissue attached to the wall of the uterus. 

The chorionic villi and the growing baby have the same genetic markers, therefore this tissue can confirm paternity. The DNA extracted from the alleged father will be compared to the sample collected through CVS.

This test procedure can be performed from the 10th to 13th week of pregnancy and would require the consent of a doctor.

Source: Healthline

Summary of the types of Prenatal DNA Test

Test typeNon-invasive Prenatal PaternityAmniocentesisChorionic Villus Sampling 
ProcedureSequencing and analyzing baby’s DNA found in the mother’s bloodCollecting amniotic fluid through a needle inserted into the uterusCollecting chorionic villi tissue through a needle inserted into the cervix
Sample collectionBlood draw from the mother, cheek swab from the alleged father (s) Amniotic fluid from the mother, cheek swab from the alleged father (s) Chorionic villi tissue collection from the mother, cheek swab from the alleged father (s) 
TimingFrom 8th week of pregnancy14th to 20th week of pregnancy10th to 13th week of pregnancy
Accuracy99% accuracyHigh accuracyHigh accuracy
RiskNo risk is involved for both mother and unborn childSlight possibility of miscarriage and injury to unborn child, side effects include vaginal bleeding, irritation, cramps, and amniotic fluid leakagePossibility of miscarriage  and infection

Following the high level of risk associated with amniocentesis and CVS, the Non Invasive Prenatal Paternity testing is highly recommended. At Smart DNA, we offer non-invasive prenatal paternity testing only, using cheek swabs from the alleged father, and a blood sample from the expectant mother.

How to do a DNA Test when pregnant

Find a DNA test center– The first step to doing a DNA test when pregnant in Nigeria is to find a DNA test center.  It is important that you pick a reputable and accredited test center that is internationally recognized and adheres to protocols for performing DNA testing.

Speak with a representative– After carefully selecting a center, you may want to speak with a representative from the center. This will allow you to better understand the type of prenatal DNA testing services available, the procedures, and costs. 

Book an appointment– If you have spoken with a representative from the center, you can proceed to book an appointment after carefully considering which of the test procedures works best for you. 

Sample collection–  Take the samples. After collection, the samples are taken to the laboratory, where the DNA is extracted from the cells, amplified and analyzed.

Get your result– Upon completion of the test from the laboratory, the result will be sent to you via the email address you provided. This usually takes a period of 14-21 days, depending on the center. 

How Accurate is the result?

This test is highly advanced, and the results are 99% accurate.

Can I do a DNA test while pregnant without the alleged father?

The answer is a no. This test requires samples from the pregnant mother and alleged father or fathers as the case may be.

How much does a Prenatal DNA test cost in Nigeria?

The cost of a prenatal DNA test in Nigeria is determined by factors such as the sample collection method, and the test center. The test cost between 2,000,000 and 5,000,000. However, you must get in touch with the DNA test center of your choice and ask for their price list in order to find out the exact cost.

How long does a Prenatal DNA Test result take?

The result is available within a few days to a few weeks after samples are taken. However, this depends on the testing center. 

Where can I do a DNA test while pregnant?

Smart DNA non-invasive prenatal DNA testing provides the most accurate way to determine paternity before birth.

For more information about our Prenatal DNA testing, speak to our care experts on +234 802 984 0246 or click here