What is Genetic Counseling?
Genetic counseling is a health service that provides information and advice to patients and their families, which are in risk of a hereditary genetic disorder. It is also useful to couples and prospective parents that seek more information on how to have healthy children.
During the genetic consultation the specialized clinical geneticist:
- recognizes whether a condition or a disease in a person or in a family has a genetic basis.
- calculates the risk for other family member to be affected from a given genetic condition.
- informs the consultants regarding the appropriate and available tests to that would aid in diagnosis of a possible genetic condition.
- proposes available treatment options, after the diagnosis of a genetic disease
- informs the consultants regarding prenatal or preimplantation testing options, in case one or both the parents are carriers of a genetic disease
Whom is it for?
Genetic counseling could be sought by all prospective parents; however, it is highly recommended to people or couples facing one or more of the following conditions:
- couple with fertility problems
- Couple with recurrent miscarriages and/or fetal death
- Pregnancy at advanced maternal or paternal age
- Pregnancy with ultrasound findings suggestive of a genetic disease
- People with family history of a genetic disease, chromosomal or congenital abnormality
- Pregnancy with exposure to radiation, chemical agents, infections or prescribed medications
- Prospective parents interested in screening for the most common hereditary genetic diseases, like Thalassemia and Cystic fibrosis
- People with a positive genetic test for single gene disorders, abnormal karyotype or complex genetic conditions
- People with a family history of hereditary cancer syndrome