Genetic Counseling

Additional Information

What is Genetic Counseling?

Depending on your medical profile and family history, your doctor may recommend genetic counseling. A genetic counselor can help you understand how certain conditions, such as genetic disorders and birth defects, may run in your family and your risk for passing them on to your baby.

What to Expect From Genetic Counseling

Your genetic counselor will start by asking about your family’s medical history, including any conditions or diseases that seem to run in your family. Based on this information, your counselor may:

  • Recommend tests to check for genetic conditions. Some of these tests may be performed before you get pregnant to evaluate your risk for passing the condition on to your baby. If you are already pregnant, tests such as amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling (CVS) can help determine if your baby may have a health concern.
  • Schedule tests for you and meet with you to explain the results and help you understand your options. If appropriate, your counselor also may refer you to medical specialists for further care, as well as provide resources for education and support.

Many insurance plans cover genetic counseling. Check with your insurance provider to determine whether genetic counseling is covered under your plan.

Genetic defects are not common. However, if testing shows that your baby may have a disorder, Mercy genetic counselors are here to support you in a nurturing environment, without pressure to pursue any specific test or procedure. Together, we will help you get the information you need to make knowledgeable, compassionate decisions that are best for your family.

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