Genetics can tell us a lot about who we are and where we came from. You might know that there are many genetic tests available online, but you might be wondering which one could be the right one for you.
These tips should help you choose the right genetic test for your needs and your expectations.
1. Figure out what you want out of your genetic test
There are many genetic tests available, but they don’t focus on giving you the same results. If you are interested in learning more about your ancestry, or about connecting with distant relatives, choose a genetic test that will let you know where in the world your DNA comes from.
If you are more concerned about learning as much as you can about your genetic health risks, an ancestry test will do nothing for you. Choose a genetic test focused on health risks.
2. Try to have realistic expectations
No matter which genetic test interests you the most, remember that you should try to keep realistic expectations. For example, an ancestry genetic test can tell you about your ancestry, but it won’t be able to confirm your race or to trace your complete and accurate family tree.
If you have unrealistic expectations before taking your genetic test, you will surely end up being disappointed by the results you get.
3. Search for providers of genetic tests
Now that you know what kind of genetic test you should get, and what kind of expectations you should have, it’s time to search for a provider of genetic tests.
It’s always a good idea to start your search online. Search for genetic tests that are available directly to consumers (i.e. CRI Genetics). Compare their prices, their processes, and the kind of report they promise you after analyzing your DNA sample.
4. Figure out how many genes are being analyzed by each test
Different genes are linked to different types of cancer, so if you are interested in a genetic test that can determine your risks of contracting cancer, you need to have a good idea of how many genes each genetic test will analyze.
If you want a complete picture of your health risks, your genetic test should analyze as many genes as possible.
5. Figure out how many genetic markers your DNA will be compared against
When it comes to ancestry genetic tests, many providers claim they will compare your DNA against thousands and thousands of genetic markers. This is far from necessary, and will probably only serve to present you with confusing results.
A genetic test that will use only the most relevant genetic markers to determine your ancestry should be more helpful to you.
6. Make sure they have good customer service
Before you choose your provider of genetic test, try to make sure they offer good customer service, and that they will keep your information private.
If ever you have questions about the results of your test, you need to know you will be able to contact someone in charge, and to get clear answers in a prompt manner.
7. Remember that you get what you pay for
If you see that the prices offered by different providers of genetic tests vary greatly, ask yourself a few questions. If a test that only analyzes a few genes is less expensive than the others, it might be worth paying more to get a more complete picture of your health risks.
As with many things in life, remember that you get what you pay for. However, that doesn’t mean you should take the most expensive test you find. You only have to make sure you will choose a genetic test that meets your specific needs.