Whether you are planning a pregnancy or are already pregnant, it is important to discuss SMA carrier testing with your doctor, even if he or she does not bring it up.
Why? Because even though the odds are that your baby will be healthy, you deserve to know in advance whether he or she might be born with SMA.
A simple blood test done in your doctor's office can tell you if you and your spouse carry the abnormal gene that causes SMA.* If the answer is no, you can be reassured that your baby is highly unlikely to have this incurable disorder. If the answer is yes, you will have numerous reproductive options [link] to consider with your genetic counselor.
Many doctors know about SMA and the benefits of SMA carrier testing and will recommend that you be tested before conception or early in pregnancy. But some doctors are not yet aware of the very high number of people who are SMA carriers (as many as one in every 40) or the benefits of SMA carrier testing, so you may want to bring this guide to your doctor and discuss if SMA Carrier testing is right for you.
To facilitate your conversation with your doctor, here are some discussion points about SMA carrier testing that may reflect your situation. Feel free to print this out and bring with you on your next doctor visit. Getting SMA carrier testing can be empowering because it puts you in control, helps you prepare, and gives you more options.