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Genetic Counseling

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Summary

Genetic counseling provides information and support to people who have, or may be at risk for, genetic disorders. A genetic counselor meets with you to discuss genetic risks. The counseling may be for yourself or a family member. Or you may get it when you are planning or expecting a baby. You may follow up with genetic testing.

There are many reasons to seek genetic counseling. You may consider it if you

  • Have a personal or family history of a genetic condition or birth defect
  • Are pregnant or planning to be pregnant after age 35
  • Already have a child with a genetic disorder or birth defect
  • Have had two or more pregnancy losses or a baby who died
  • Have had ultrasound or screening tests that suggest a possible problem

Genetics Home Reference

Start Here

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Human Genome Research Institute)
  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
  • (March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation) Also in
  • (Genetic Alliance) - PDF
  • (Nemours Foundation) Also in

Related Issues

  • (National Society of Genetic Counselors)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine)
  • (Genetic Alliance)
  • (American Society of Clinical Oncology)

Specifics

  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
  • (American Heart Association)

Clinical Trials

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)

Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)

Reference Desk

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Human Genome Research Institute) Also in

Find an Expert

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute)
  • Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health

Children

  • (American Academy of Pediatrics) Also in

Patient Handouts