Genetic Counselling

Every day researchers are learning more about the genetics of common diseases and how those diseases run in families. If you have an inherited disease in your family, a genetic counseling session can help you understand your personal risk or the risk for other family members. It can also help you learn what testing, surveillance, or prevention strategies may be right for your situation.

Any person may seek out genetic counseling for a condition they may have inherited from their biological parents. A woman, if pregnant, may be referred for genetic counseling if a risk is discovered through prenatal testing (screening or diagnosis). Some clients are notified of having a higher individual risk for chromosomal abnormalities or birth defects. Testing enables women and couples to make a decision as to whether or not to continue with their pregnancy, and helps provide information that can be used to prepare for the birth of a child with medical issues.

A person may also undergo genetic counseling after the birth of a child with a genetic condition. In these instances, the genetic counselor explains the condition to the patient along with recurrence risks in future children. In all cases of a positive family history for a condition, the genetic counselor can evaluate risks, recurrence and explain the condition itself.