A genetic expert is a medical professional trained to help you learn about your genetic health risks, with the goal of improving your and your family’s health. The focus of your conversation with a genetic expert may be on the health of a future child, but your health may also benefit. Genetic experts also recognize that learning about a risk to a future child isn’t always easy and offer compassion and support through the process.
Here are some ways that learning from a genetic expert can improve your and your baby’s health:
- After reviewing your personal and family health history, a genetic expert can help you better understand what this means for you and your family. They may be able to reassure you about health problems you thought could be inherited, but usually aren’t. They can also find and help you address gaps in your regular medical care to ensure you’re getting everything you need. This may include genetic testing for you to consider.
- Genetic testing could tell you if you have inherited a risk factor. There are many testing options out there, and a genetic expert can walk you through your best options, tell you about the pros and cons of testing and help you decide if you want to proceed.
- Genetic test results can be tricky to understand. Genetic experts can explain your results to you and then help you make an action plan to take full advantage of what you learned with your doctor.
If you talk to a genetic expert now, you can still talk with one later if you become pregnant or your family needs change.