Professional Genetic Counseling Services are Available in our Austin Obgyn Office
Genetic Counselors are health care professionals with a masters degree in human genetics and counseling www.nsgc.org and certified by the American Board of Genetic Counseling. During a genetic counseling consultation, the counselor will ask questions about the family health history, including obtaining information about family members with a chronic illness, birth defect, learning disability or syndrome. Based on these questions, a genetic counselor will assess the family’s genetic risk and discuss the benefits, accuracy, risks and limitations of genetic testing that may be available.
Genetic counselors are impartial educators, who often help families make informed decisions about their health care and testing options. Frequently, the counselor provides the family with educational pamphlets and referrals within the community for support. If a family or individual decides to undergo genetic testing, the counselor generally relays the results as soon as they are available. If an abnormality is detected in the testing, additional consultations are offered to discuss the finding in detail and offer additional resources to the family.
Anyone who has several family members with the same chronic condition, or a relative with mental retardation or a birth defect could consider genetic counseling. Pregnant women who are above 34 years of age or who are at increased risk for chromosome problems based on first screen or maternal serum screening (triple or quad test) would likely benefit from genetic counseling. Further, genetic counseling is often recommended for pregnant women who have been exposed to infectious diseases, medications, x-rays or drugs. Couples who have had two or more miscarriages often seek genetic counseling services to explore the possible causes of the losses.