Making the decision to start a family is an important one. Have you considered how your health history may affect future generations? Genetic testing is available to those who are planning a family or are currently pregnant.
Family planning: Knowing your genetic risk can help determine risk for your future children to have the same condition. Genetic testing can be performed on a patient and their partner prior to or during pregnancy for more than 200 inherited conditions that could be passed onto their children, such as cystic fibrosis and spinal muscular atrophy.
Prenatal or pregnant: Genetic testing can also be performed during pregnancy to screen for common conditions that occur randomly and are not passed on in families such as down syndrome. Many individuals utilize prenatal genetic testing to determine risk for these genetic conditions and prepare medically and emotionally to have a child with a genetic condition.
Genetic counseling gives you information you may need to make informed decisions about your health. The genetic counselor will help you understand complex genetic information and the options available for genetic testing. From the explanation of test results to providing an initial emotional and psychosocial assessment, the genetic counselor will be there with you to navigate the complexity of genetic disorders.
Talk to your prenatal care provider to determine if meeting with a genetic counselor is right for you. If so, your prenatal care provider will arrange a referral.