Genetic Services

Genetic Counseling

Decisions about family planning, genetic testing, and prenatal diagnosis are personal. Genetic counseling at the Genetics & IVF Institute is a process that will assist you in reaching a decision that is in the best interest of you and your family. Your genetic counselor will assist you in sorting through your medical information and all of the available choices. The goal of genetic counseling is to help you make an informed decision about your medical situation. Common reasons for genetic counseling include:

  • You, your partner, or someone in your immediate family has a genetic disorder, birth defect, or mental retardation.
  • You will be 35 years of age or more at the time of pregnancy delivery.
  • You or your partner had a previous pregnancy with a birth defect or genetic condition.
  • You have an abnormal first trimester screen or an abnormal second trimester maternal serum screen.
  • You have an abnormal CVS or amniocentesis result.
  • Your ultrasound examination demonstrated a birth defect or marker associated with a genetic condition.
  • You have a medical condition such as epilepsy or insulin-dependent diabetes that requires that you take medications during your pregnancy.
  • You want to know more about testing for recessive genetic diseases that are common in certain ethnic backgrounds.
  • You have experienced three or more miscarriages with no known explanation.
  • You are seeking information about available screening and diagnostic testing or are undecided about the best option for you.

Depending on the complexity of your situation and the number of questions you have, genetic counseling sessions vary from 30 to 60 minutes in length. You will meet with a genetic counselor to review your family history, ethnicity, personal health, and pregnancy history. Analysis of this information allows the counselor to determine which, if any, tests would provide useful information for your reproductive and family planning.

All of your questions regarding the safety and accuracy of each testing option will be reviewed. The appropriateness of prenatal diagnosis, genetic screening, and other tests will vary, depending on your individual health and family history. The benefits and limitations of all the current testing options will be explained to you. Deciding to have a test done or deciding not to have a test done are both equally valid choices. If desired, testing can usually be done on the same day as your consultation, or you can choose to make an appointment for testing on a different day.

To schedule an appointment, click here or call 800.552.4363 or 703.698.7355.