Prenatal Genetic Counseling

What is Prenatal Genetic Counseling?

Prenatal genetic counseling is a medical appointment at which an expecting parent speaks with a licensed and certified genetic counselor. The appointment can be done by phone or video and typically takes 30 minutes.

A genetic counselor is a healthcare professional trained to elicit information to assess potential risks to a baby and discuss the availability of appropriate screening and testing options.

Why might an expecting parent be referred to a prenatal genetic counselor?

There are many reasons why a person or couple might be referred to a prenatal genetic counselor. Examples include:

  • To discuss the availability, benefits and limitations of the many prenatal genetic screening and diagnostic testing options out there.
  • A positive prenatal genetic screening or diagnostic test result.
  • A history of multiple miscarriages.
  • A personal or family history of a birth defect, genetic condition or chromosome issue.
  • Exposure to a substance, such as a medication, infection or radiation, that may be harmful to the baby.
  • Advanced maternal age (>35 at the time of delivery) or paternal age (>39 age at the time of conception). Learn more about genetic testing for pregnancy in women over 35.

How can prenatal genetic counseling help expecting parents learn more about risks to a baby and the availability of prenatal genetic screening and diagnostic testing options?

During the appointment, a prenatal genetic counselor will ask for a personal and family medical history. In each pregnancy, there is a 3-4% chance of a genetic condition, chromosome abnormality, birth defect, or intellectual disability, The information obtained from the histories can help the genetic counselor know if any circumstances increase a baby’s risk for a health concern. Based on this discussion, appropriate prenatal genetic testing options will be offered.

Learn more about genetic testing and pregnancy.

To speak with a genetic counselor, you can schedule an appointment online or call to schedule at (877) 688-0992.

Who Should Get Prenatal Genetic Counseling?

An expecting parent may be referred to a prenatal genetic counselor for many reasons, including:

  • To discuss the availability, benefits and limitations of the many prenatal genetic screening and diagnostic testing options out there.
  • A positive prenatal genetic screening or diagnostic test result.
  • A history of multiple miscarriages.
  • A personal or family history of a birth defect, genetic condition or chromosome issue.
  • Exposure to a substance, such as a medication, infection or radiation, that may be harmful to the baby.
  • Advanced maternal (>35) at the time of delivery or paternal (>39) age at the time of conception. Learn more about genetic testing and screening for pregnancy in women over 35.

In addition, a person or couple may choose to proactively meet with a prenatal genetic counselor if they have concerns about such matters and want to better understand their risk and the availability of prenatal genetic screening and testing options.

What to Expect During Prenatal Counseling?

During the appointment, a prenatal genetic counselor will ask for a personal and family medical history. The information obtained from the histories can help the genetic counselor know if any circumstances increases a baby’s risk for a health concern. Based on this discussion, appropriate prenatal genetic testing options will be offered.

What Can I Do to Prepare for My Appointment?

Talking with your family members in order to obtain a complete family medical history can increase the accuracy of the prenatal genetic counselor’s risk assessment and allow the counselor to provide the most appropriate next steps in your prenatal care. Information commonly asked for during an appointment can include a personal or family history of:

  • intellectual disabilities, developmental delay or autism spectrum disorder
  • early onset blindness or deafness
  • neurological, muscular or skeletal disorders
  • birth defects (like a cleft lip), genetic conditions (like cystic fibrosis) or chromosome conditions (like Down syndrome)
  • infant deaths, infertility, or recurrent pregnancy loss
  • consanguinity (you or your partner are related by blood)
  • sudden death or cardiac disease diagnosed under the age of fifty
  • cancer diagnosed under the age of fifty

Information is requested about the pregnant woman and father of the pregnancy as well as their other children, siblings, siblings’ children, parents, and aunts/uncles. Information about the couple’s cousins can be included if there is relevant history.

The more a person knows about their family history, including a relative’s specific diagnosis, age of onset, age of death, disease etiology and what medical evaluations were conducted, the more accurate the prenatal genetic counselor’s risk assessment.

Schedule a Prenatal Counseling Appointment

If you have been referred to speak, or would like to proactively meet, with a prenatal genetic counselor to discuss concerns you have regarding your pregnancy, to better understand your risks and to obtain information regarding prenatal genetic screening and testing options, reach out to Genome Medical at (877) 688-0992 or schedule online.

Want to learn more? Check out these Genome Medical resources

Want to learn more? Check out these Genome Medical resources
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Schedule Your Genetic
Counseling Consultation

With Genome Medical, you can simply schedule your consultation with a certified genetic counselor online and attend from the comfort of your own home. Secure video sessions are flexible and available to suit your schedule.

Insurance

With in-network insurance coverage, on average our patients pay $50 per visit. Genome Medical may not be covered in all cases.

Pay $50 per Visit

START NOW
Learn More

Self-Pay

We offer an affordable self-pay option for our patients who prefer to pay out-of-pocket. Pay just $179 for a genetic counseling session.

Pay just $179

START NOW
Learn More

This cost does not include genetic testing. Any genetic testing will need to be paid for separately.

Schedule Your Genetic Counseling Consultation

With Genome Medical, you can simply schedule your consultation with a certified genetic counselor online and attend from the comfort of your own home. Secure video sessions are flexible and available to suit your schedule.

Insurance

With in-network insurance coverage, on average our patients pay $50 per visit. Genome Medical may not be covered in all cases.

Pay $50 per Visit

START NOW
Learn More

Self-Pay

We offer an affordable self-pay option for our patients who prefer to pay out-of-pocket. Pay just $179 for a genetic counseling session.

Pay just $179

START NOW
Learn More

This cost does not include genetic testing. Any genetic testing will need to be paid for separately.