Women who are pregnant and had intercourse with multiple partners may have huge questions surrounding their child's paternity. With modern technology at your disposal, you can be quite sure that you are able to find out beyond a shadow of a doubt who your child's father is with prenatal paternity testing options — but if you are in this position, you would probably prefer knowing now, rather than later.
Your Menstrual Cycle May Hold Clues
Menstrual cycles that last between 21 and 35 days are considered to fall in the range of normal. Your menstrual cycle consists of two main parts: the follicular phase and the luteal phase. The follicular phase begins on the first day of menstrual flow, and it is the phase during which one follicle starts dominating in order to release an egg during ovulation. The luteal phase is the second phase of the menstrual cycle, and it occurs after ovulation. While the follicular phase varies in length, the average length of the luteal phase is 14 days, with leeway of a few days on either side.
Women who have not been following their menstrual cycles closely can use this average of 14 days to work with. If you know when your period was supposed to be due, count back 14 days. This is the time during which you are most likely to have ovulated. If you had intercourse with partner one 14, 15, or 16 days before your period was due and with partner two 20 days before, partner one is very likely indeed to be the father of your child. If, however, you had intercourse with multiple partners right during your fertile window, which you could consider to be 14 days before your period was due and about four days before that, you will not get many clues from your menstrual cycle. If you cannot remember when you had intercourse with whom, you also won't get very far with this.
Non-Invasive Prenatal Paternity Testing
If your menstrual cycle doesn't give you the clues you are looking for, does that mean you will have to wait until after your child is born to find out who the father is? Not any more!
Non-invasive prenatal paternity testing is method that allows you to find out who the father of your unborn child is with a remarkable accuracy of 99.9 percent -- the same accuracy you will also get with a normal DNA test.
NIPP involves nothing more than a blood test for you (fetal DNA will be found in your blood during pregnancy) and the potential fathers. It can be performed any time after the eighth week of pregnancy.
Other methods, amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling (CVS) also allow you to establish your child's paternity during pregnancy. Both these methods carry risks, however, for both you and your baby. NIPP is a safe and very reliable method that will give you the peace of mind that you need early on in your pregnancy.
What Other Options Do You Have?
If NIPP isn't an option for you for whatever reason, DNA testing after the baby is born involves nothing more than a swab from the inside of your baby's cheek. The candidate fathers will have to offer a swab as well.
If you had intercourse with two partners, only one will have to offer their blood or cheek cells for NIPP or regular DNA testing: the one who is tested either is or isn't the biological father of your child. If he isn't, the other one should be.
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