Get answers to top questions about Orchid — what’s in the report, what you can do with the information gained and how accurate are the results.
What’s in the report?
A Couple Report tells you if your future child is expected to have an elevated or normal genetic risk for top chronic diseases, based on you and your partner’s DNA.
Orchid does this by calculating Genetic Risk Scores (GRS). GRS are created by analyzing large sets of data to identify specific genetic variations known as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that are associated with common diseases. While individually, each of these SNPs has a small impact on disease risk, their combined effect, calculated as a GRS, is larger than any single gene, or family history alone. Read more about the science here. Orchid will provide both members of the couple with their own personalized report in addition to a Couple Report.
In our Couple Report, we run many simulations of the ways you and your partners’ DNA (and associated genetic risks) can combine. This gives us a sense of which disease risks might be elevated in your potential child or children.
GRS can present challenges when it comes to accurately predicting disease risk across different ancestral populations. GRS models are developed using publicly available genomic data sets, which have historically included relatively few individuals of non-European ancestry, leading to models which are less predictive for non-European populations. Orchid will only release GRS which we are confident has high predictive power for your ancestry; this means the number of GRS you receive will differ based on your ancestry (see table below). Given that ancestry is not binary, some individuals may receive more or fewer scores. Orchid remains committed to incorporating the latest genomics research and refining GRS methodologies to expand the range of scores available for each ancestry. By continually updating our GRS we aim to provide more equitable and reliable risk scores across all ancestries.
In Orchid’s Couple Report, we run many simulations of the ways you and your partners’ DNA (and associated genetic risks) can combine. This gives us a sense of which disease risks might be elevated in your potential child or children (see below).
Since there are many possible ways you and your partner’s DNA can combine, your future child’s results are reported as a range instead of as a single number. Genetics impacts the risk of developing conditions at some point in an individual’s life, the Couples Report provides a range of relative risk and lifetime risk of each disease, and how that compares to the general population (see image below).
Based on the Couple Report, you can better answer the question “if we were to consider embryo screening, by how much can I decrease my future child’s genetic susceptibility to diseases screened?”
Each member of the couple will also receive their own Genetic Risk Scores, including relative risk and lifetime risk (see below).
We know that navigating this type of information can be at times daunting and overwhelming, so your reports come with a live one-on-one consultation from a board-certified genetic counselor. The counselor will review and interpret your individual risk results, and possible outcomes for risk in future embryos, discuss how these results relate to your family history, and answer any questions you may have.
What can be done if there is an increased risk that’s discovered?
Knowing you and your partner’s genetic risks helps you optimize your family’s health — bringing more information and clarity that families had no way of knowing before.
If your Couple Report shows that your future child has an increased genetic predisposition to a condition, you have options about how you want to use this information, and actions can be taken to mitigate those risks.
Tailor your family’s diet, fitness, and health.
Orchid results can help you better prepare for the future through personalized preventative measures and increased awareness. Healthy lifestyle changes can offset genetic risks to these chronic conditions and being able to measure these risks puts you one step ahead of the game.
Choose to mitigate your future child’s genetic risks through follow-up embryo testing.
If your future child can have an elevated genetic risk of a condition, one option is to choose to lower your future child’s genetic risk through in vitro fertilization (IVF) and follow-up embryo screening. By determining each embryo’s genetic risk for certain conditions, you can elect to prioritize transferring embryos with the lowest genetic risk.
How accurate, reliable, and predictive are the results?
At Orchid, we take the role we play in delivering clinical-grade information to you at this life-altering milestone in your life seriously. When it comes to you and your family’s health, “close enough” doesn’t cut it. From sample processing to result generation, we’ve refined each step to ensure our test is as robust and accurate as possible.
Our sequence data is over 99% accurate across the entire genome.
Orchid ensures quality sequencing through clinical-grade laboratory testing that uses Illumina-based platforms. This means genetic markers are correctly identified in each sample we run.
Results are processed in a CLIA and CAP-certified laboratory.
Your results are processed in a CLIA/CAP certified laboratory, the same standards trusted by the largest academic medical centers and physicians. Being CLIA-certified means that the laboratory meets federal government quality regulations for running tests used by doctors and patients. This ensures every test is processed to the highest quality standards.
Results are backed by peer-reviewed, reproducible case-control studies.
People with the highest percentiles of genetic risk for a condition are 2 to 5 times more likely to develop it compared to average. Large-scale genetic studies have shown quantifying genetic risk accurately identifies people who are more likely to develop a disease — critical information that can be easily missed by looking at family history, routine blood tests, or traditional genetic testing alone. These findings have been consistently demonstrated and validated through aggregated data from hundreds of thousands of individuals.
We continually review the latest research in genomics — identifying results that meet our stringent quality standards. We only incorporate results reproduced by several research groups and based on population sizes of more than 10,000 individuals.
Top doctors and scientists helped create our test, and all results are approved by a physician.
We’ve partnered with top reproductive medicine doctors and statistical geneticists to help validate our technology. We are trusted by leading fertility clinics like Stanford and all results are approved by independent physician review to ensure accuracy and appropriateness of the ordered test.
Explore more from Orchid Guides
- The ultimate guide to genetic testing before pregnancy: actionable advice for couples
- A board-certified genetic counselor explains what genetic risk means — and what testing can tell you
- Can embryo screening reduce your child’s genetic risks?