Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is a serious genetic condition that can affect many parts of the body, and it is a common genetic condition in the United States.
Although Cystic Fibrosis does not affect everyone the same way, it does cause changes in a person’s genes that cause the body to produce thick, sticky mucus in the lungs, pancreas, and digestive tract.
It is estimated that over 10 million Americans are carriers of CF. Generally, the risk is higher for patients of Caucasian ethnicity or those that have a family history of Cystic Fibrosis.
The decision to have CF screening done is between you and your partner. This is a noninvasive test done through a blood draw. If you turn out to be a carrier, it is then advised the father of the baby be tested via a mouth swab. If he too is a CF carrier the baby has a 25% chance of having Cystic Fibrosis.
When discharged from the hospital, your baby will have a state-mandated Newborn Screen done. This is a screening test (obtained by a heel poke) that is looking for several diseases including CF. So regardless if you test for Cystic Fibrosis prenatally or not, your baby will be tested after birth.
For more information on Cystic Fibrosis: