Making informed and effective health decisions are now super easy through genetic consultations and counselling. Want to know about it? Keep reading! It’s worth reading!
So what exactly is genetic consultations and counselling? It is a health-related service that provides information and support to people who have or may be at risk for genetic disorders. It provides information, offers support and addresses a patient’s specific questions and concerns. During consultation and counselling, a genetics professional meets with an individual or family to discuss genetic risks or to diagnose or confirm a genetic condition.
‘’Understanding your genetic condition is crucial and for that meeting with genetic professional prior to a genetic test is very important”.
You can seek genetic counselling & consultation if:
- You are new parents or couples planning a pregnancy
- You have a family history of a genetic condition, birth defect, a chromosomal disorder
- You are newly diagnosed with a disease that may have a genetic cause
- You are getting abnormal test results that suggest a genetic or chromosomal condition
- You are going through two or more pregnancy losses(miscarriages)
- You are a woman who is pregnant or preparing to become pregnant at or after age 35, as few chromosomal disorders happen more commonly in children born to older women
- You are planning for a child during advanced maternal or paternal age
- You are already having a child with a genetic disorder or birth defect
How does genetic counselling & consultation work?
During the consultation and counselling process, a genetics professional will play a key part. They will explain and communicate complex medical information, help you to make informed and independent decisions about your health care and reproductive options. Your genetic condition information is explained by performing a physical examination and tests, also your medical history, family history is noted down, different genetic tests are discussed and arranged, if appropriate. Also, careful examination of affected and of apparently unaffected individuals in the family is done.
‘’You can expect from the genetic professional to get answers related to how the condition is inherited, the chances of passing the condition to future generation rate, the options for diagnosis, testing and treatment’’.
Note- Genetic testing is a great tool that doctors use to diagnose genetic conditions and if a patient decides to have a genetic test then a genetic counsellor is there to explain the results and also they are there to guide you through the next steps you should take after you get the genetic test results.
‘’ Genetic counsellors ensure that there is an appropriate balance of information while also helping patients to manage the inevitable emotions that a diagnosis of a genetic disease can bring’’.
Advantages of genetic counselling & consultation:
- It aims to provide complete and accurate information about genetic disorders
- It promotes informed decisions
- It decreases the incidence of genetic disorders
- It reduces the impact of such disorders
- It explains the alternatives to reduce the risk of genetic disorders
- It promotes awareness of the medical facts of the genetic conditions
- It helps in choosing the most appropriate options
- It provides psychosocial support
Tips before going to genetic counselling & consultation
Before entering the clinic, you should be ready with all your medical histories information, also of your parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles etc. Write down information about birth defects in your family, diseases and other medical conditions of your relatives, ages at which relatives were diagnosed with a particular condition, ages at which relatives died( if this is relevant). You should bring as much information about your personal medical history as you can. Also, don’t forget to write down any questions you do like to ask.
Note – The genetic consultation & counselling session generally takes anywhere between 20 minutes to an hour and the cost for it on average without testing cost can be $213. Make sure your expectations are reasonable before consulting & counselling.
What should you expect when working with a genetic counsellor?
- A meeting prior to genetic testing to assess your medical and family history and decide whether you meet testing criteria for a particular hereditary cancer syndrome
- An explanation of the pros and cons of the different testing options available for you and what each test result could mean for you and your family
- A chance to ask questions & decide if you feel comfortable about your decision/commitment to have or not have genetic testing
- Coordination of blood or saliva sample to be sent to a genetic testing laboratory
- A written summary of your results & visits for you to share with your doctors and family members
Simplify the complex information related to genetic consultations & counselling with IVF Spring Fertility Centre, we help you make informed decisions on what would be best for your family, our doctors keep up-to-date with current genetic research to be able to provide the patients with the most accurate information and best care possible. Contact us now!