Why Genetic Counseling?

If you or someone in your family is considering genetic testing, you are wondering if a certain health condition could run in your family, if you are pregnant and interested in learning more about genetic testing options during pregnancy, or if you have a personal or family history of cancer, a genetic counselor is an outstanding resource.

  • Genetic counselors can help you sort through complex information to understand the meaning of genetic tests so you can make informed decisions about what testing options, if any, are best for you.
  • Genetic counselors strive to be non-directive. In other words, genetic counselors want to provide up-to-date, accurate, and balanced information to help you make decisions about genetic testing that are right for you and your family.
  • Genetic counselors’ unique education allows them not only to be experts on the science of genetics, but also on the emotional impact of this information on individuals and families. Genetic counselors can also help you identify support resources when needed.
  • Genetic counselors typically spend from 30 minutes to an hour or more making sure that you have the information you need and that all of your questions are answered.

Will the genetic counselor tell me what to do about my pregnancy, or whether to undergo genetic testing?

Genetic counselors are there to provide you with the information you need to make the decisions that are right for you and for your family; they will not tell you what to do. Genetic counselors do their very best to give you information in a non-biased way, and make sure you understand the information to make decisions that are most consistent with your own beliefs and values. You may have had an experience of seeing a healthcare professional and having them make recommendations or tell you what to do. When it comes to whether or not to undergo genetic testing (for example, in your pregnancy) and what to do with that information, genetic counselors believe that these decisions are very personal, and will support you no matter what you decide. Find a genetic counselor here.

Related Articles

  • Genetic, or hereditary, conditions can be passed down in a family in many different ways: Autosomal Dominant Autosomal Recessive X-Linked  Mitochondrial Multifactorial
  • When it comes to genetics, it's not all about you; your entire family's health history is important. There are many health conditions where someone's risk to also develop that condition is determined by their family history. Because of this, it is important to try to gather as much information about…
  • Genetic testing is a rapidly changing area of medicine, and whether or not to undergo genetic testing may not be an easy or straightforward decision. Even if you have already undergone genetic testing, the results may often be confusing to interpret. A genetic counselor is a medical professional that can…

Last updated on Jul 19th, 2018