The information from
genetic testing can have a big impact on your life.
Genetic counselors are trained to help you understand
your risk of getting a disease related to genetics or of having a child with an
inherited (genetic) disease, such as
sickle cell disease,
cystic fibrosis, or
hemophilia. A genetic counselor can help you make
well-informed decisions. Ask to have genetic counseling before making a
decision about testing. Genetic counseling may involve:
Discussing what problems an inherited disease
Teaching you and your partner about how a specific disease is
inherited or passed from you to your child.
Discussing whether and
how to test for an inherited disease before you become pregnant or before your
child is born.
Discussing the likelihood that you and your partner
will have a child with an inherited disease, based on test results.
Understand medical facts, including what causes
diseases, how a diagnosis is made, and what you may be able to do to help
yourself manage a disease.
Understand how your family history
contributes to the development of a disease.
Understand what you
can do to help prevent a disease.
Learn about caring for a family
member who has a genetic disease, including getting referrals to specialists or
joining support groups.
Genetic counselors are trained to help you and your family
make informed decisions that are right for you. They are sensitive to physical
and emotional aspects of these decisions. Your privacy and confidentiality are