There are two main routes to getting a DNA test. You can decide to go for a home testing kit or visit a DNA testing lab. This article assumes that you will go for home testing. However, the DNA testing, whether conducted at home or at the lab, follows a similar pattern.
There are various reasons why you may want to consider getting a DNA test. It could be to track your genealogy, to identify potential hereditary health risks, or to establish your parentage. Whatever your reasons for seeking DNA testing, you are likely to go through the following steps:
1. Decide Why You Want a DNA Test
Deciding to go for DNA testing is a huge decision. Depending on your reasons for getting a DNA test, you will have to be ready for whatever results the DNA test will produce. For instance, if you want to know who your paternal father is, you will need to be prepared for the results and what they may portend.
2. Buy a Home DNA Testing Kit
Depending on your reasons for wanting a DNA test, the next step will involve identifying the appropriate kit. For the most credible results, it is recommended that you purchase the kit from the company that will be analyzing your DNA samples.
3. Harvest Your Sample
Once you receive the DNA testing kit, the next step is to collect your sample. The kit may contain cheek swabs or saliva containers. Collecting your DNA sample is therefore as easy as swabbing the inside of your cheek or collecting your saliva in a container.
4. Accurately Label the Sample
Your DNA testing kit usually comes with a number of envelopes. After collecting the DNA samples from the relevant people, put it in an envelope and label it accordingly. The details should include the name of the person providing the sample, and their personal information such as age and ethnicity. Since many DNA testing companies have websites, your sample kit will feature a barcode that you will have to register on the company’s website once you receive the kit.
5. Mail the Samples to the DNA Testing Company
Once you fill out the order form with your details, the next step is to mail the samples to the DNA testing company. Filling out the order form helps the company know where to send the DNA results
6. Check the Results Online
After analyzing the samples and filing the results, visit the company’s website to view and download your results. The time taken depends on the type of DNA testing required. Paternity tests are usually quick to determine. However, detailed health risk or ancestry tests may take a bit longer.
7. Seek Counselling after Viewing Your Results
While more tests may be required even after receiving your results, you might need help to handle the results. For instance, should the result reveal that you are predisposed to a certain genetic condition, get professional guidance on the best course of action.
Waiting for DNA test results can be nerve-wracking. However, working with the right DNA testing company that has the tools, competency and a track-record of providing quality services is a first step in the right direction.
Whatever your reasons are for wanting a DNA test, it is important to be prepared for the best and worst outcomes. Should your results indicate you are predisposed to a certain illness, rather than worry, be grateful that your doctor can now treat you with more insight and therefore improve your chances of getting better faster. A DNA test can offer new insights about your family and your health, and help you make more informed decisions.