The popular DNA test 23andMe can give individuals much information about their genetic makeup. But how long does 23andMe take? In this article, we'll dive into the details of the company's processing times. We'll look at all the factors affecting DNA test results times.
About The Company
23andMe is a company that provides direct-to-consumer genetic/DNA testing and analysis.
The company was founded in 2006 by Linda Avey, Paul Cusenza, and Anne Wojcicki.
23andMe’s mission is to help people access, understand, and benefit from the information present in the human genome.
23andMe's primary service is a saliva sample-based direct-to-consumer genetic test that includes information about customers' ancestry, health, and traits.
The company has been the subject of controversy due to its handling of customer data and privacy concerns.
The company has over 12.5 million customers worldwide.
23andMe Services Overview
Process and Timeline
Between registering your 23andMe and getting your results, there are multiple steps.
Let’s have a look at them below:
- Creating a 23andMe account on the website and registering a kit
- Sending the sample back to the lab
- Preparing your sample
- Extracting the DNA from your sample
- Genotyping the sample
- Reviewing the DNA data
- Performing the final computation
- Uploading the results to your account
Your 23andMe homepage should include information on what step of the process your sample is in and provide the estimated day of result delivery.
How Long Does 23andMe Take?
Once your kit is received at the lab, you should receive your results in 3-5 weeks.
But it’s important to note here that samples mailed from within the United States can take anywhere between 2-4 weeks to reach the lab.
So overall, it can take up to 10 weeks to deliver your results once you mail your DNA sample back.
However, many customers report receiving the results much earlier than 10 weeks.
These times are estimates, and the company cannot guarantee that you will receive the reports on the date mentioned.
In the last two years, 23andMe’s wait time appeared to have stayed under 25-30 days, making their service a pretty quick one!
Why Does 23andMe Take So Long?
The following can impact the time it takes to get your results:
- The time it takes to receive the kit upon registering
- The time it takes to for you to ship the kit back
- The shipping time itself
- The processing time at the lab
- The report generation time
Certain samples may require additional steps to be processed successfully, which can further increase the wait time.
AncestryDNA vs. 23andMe: Which is Faster?
AncestryDNA has a much bigger database with 18 million users than 23andMe's 12 million users.
This could mean that the accuracy of the former is latter than the higher.
According to the AncestryDNA website, “it can take up to 5 weeks from the date you mail in a sample for the laboratory to mark it as arrived, and 8 weeks from the date we receive your sample for your results to be ready.”
This means that 23andMe processes your report much quicker (by a couple of weeks to a month) than AncestryDNA.
What Do You Get With The 23andMe Test?
The information in your report depends on the services you have chosen.
23andMe Ancestry + Traits DNA Kit
This provides information about your ancestry traits and ethnicity taking into account over 2000 geographical regions.
It also includes a “DNA relatives” feature that matches you with different people depending on how much DNA you share with them.
You also have an option of viewing your family tree based on this result.
The service further provides information on 30+ non-health traits like fear of heights, earwax types, etc.
23andMe Health + Ancestry DNA Kit
You get all the information from the “Ancestry+Traits kit” and insights into 150+ health traits. This is divided into 3 categories:
- Health predispositions
- Carrier status
You get all the information from the “Health + Ancestry kit” and access to heart health and pharmacogenetics report.
Accessing 23andMe DNA Raw Data
An important part of your 23andMe result is the DNA data, which you can easily access and download from your account.
Your DNA data provides a massive amount of information that can be used to unlock thousands of more things outside what’s covered in 23andMe.
What Other Information Can I Get With 23andMe?
With the information present in your DNA data, you can uncover insights into several aspects of your health and well-being.
- Vitamin deficiency risk
- Your ideal macro intake
- Weight loss/gain tendencies
- Eating patterns and behavior
- Ideal fitness routine
- Physical injury risk
- Skin health
- Skin disorder risk
- Food intolerances
- Health risks
- Sleep behavior and patterns
- Sleep disorder risk
- Breast cancer status
- MTHFR gene status
- Behavior and personality
- Carrier status
- Drug responses
To get your DNA raw data, follow the instructions from this page:
How to download your 23andMe Raw Data for 3000+ Health Reports
Once you ship your DNA kit, it should reach the lab in 2-4 weeks. After this, the lab takes 3-5 weeks to deliver your results. Overall, it can take up to 10 weeks. However, 23andMe has reduced its turnaround time over the last two years, with users reporting receiving results as early as 3-4 weeks.
The most important part of your 23andMe results is your DNA raw data. The company allows its users to download the raw data, which can be uploaded to many sites like Xcode Life to get insights into additional important health and wellness aspects.