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Genetic Counseling

Reasons for Genetic Counseling

There are many reasons that people go for genetic counseling, such as:

  • A family history of a genetic condition
  • To learn about genetic screening for diseases that are more common in certain ethnic groups (e.g., sickle cell disease in African Americans and Tay-Sachs disease in Ashkenazi Jews)
  • To discuss abnormal results from tests during pregnancy (such as a blood test, ultrasound, chorionic villus sampling (CVS), or amniocentesis)
  • To learn about the higher chance for certain types of genetic conditions (such as Down syndrome) in the baby if mother-to-be is 35 years of age or more, or is concerned at any age about her chances of having a child with a genetic condition
  • To learn about the effects of being exposed to x-rays, chemicals, illness, or prescribed or illicit drugs while pregnant
  • A woman has had several miscarriages or infant deaths
  • Trouble getting pregnant (infertility)
  • A genetic condition or birth defect occurred in a previous pregnancy
  • A child has birth defects, disabilities, or conditions found by newborn screening
  • To find out if there is a genetic cause for developmental delays or health problems
  • Steps to get ready for a healthy pregnancy and baby (such as screening for genetic conditions)

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