Genetic testing studies your DNA sequence to find differences (variants) that may confirm a genetic disease or increased risk for inherited disorders in you. Genetic testing is often done using a sample of blood or saliva, and can be done for medical reasons or for non-medical reasons, such as to trace family genealogy. Information here focuses on genetic testing for medical purposes. A certified genetic counselor from Genome Medical can help you evaluate and access genetic testing.
Types of Genetic Testing
This genetic testing helps you explore your genetic risks to improve your health. Proactive testing is right for people who may not have health issues or a family history of inherited disorders, but want to learn insights from their DNA to improve their health.
Newborn and Pediatric Testing
Newborn testing is automatically done on newborns for some genetic conditions in order to find babies that have serious inherited disorders, in which treatment options exist and improve outcomes. Pediatric testing is done to help diagnose a potential genetic cause for developmental concerns or to proactively identify a genetic condition.
This pregnancy genetic testing is done during a pregnancy to see if a developing baby has a genetic disease based on risk factors seen in them or in their family history. Prenatal genetic testing is right for people who have an increased risk to have a child with a genetic condition and want to know about their child’s genetic health during the pregnancy.
This genetic testing helps you understand if your/your family member’s health problems are due to a genetic condition. Diagnostic testing is right for people who want to know if there is a genetic cause to explain medical problems that they/their family members have.
This genetic testing helps you understand if you carry risk factors for genetic diseases that you could pass down to your children. Carrier testing is right for people who are planning families or have children, and want to learn more about genetic health risks they could pass on.
This genetic testing helps you understand if your genetic makeup impacts the effectiveness of certain medicines you might take. Pharmacogenomic testing is right for people who want to learn about medication-related risks based on their DNA, so they can work with their doctors to maintain their health.
Schedule Your Genetic
With Genome Medical, you can simply schedule your consultation online with a certified genetic counselor and attend from the comfort of your own home. Secure video sessions are flexible and available to suit your schedule.
Which Genetic Counseling Programs Are Right for You?
Genetic counseling is not one-size-fits-all. The program you need depends upon your own health, your family’s health and your personal situation. For this reason, Genome Medical offers different genetic counseling programs to meet your needs.
Looking to start a family?
Shawna and Khalid want to know about genetic health risks they could pass on to a future child. Genetic counseling is recommended because it would include a discussion of their personal and family health histories, genetic health risks and relevant genetic testing options. It would also include a review of their test results, how these results could impact a future child and possible future testing (such as genetic testing during a pregnancy or after a child is born). If Shawn and Khalid become pregnant, they could have genetic counseling again to revisit testing options and discuss updates. View More
Family History of a Genetic Condition
Do certain diseases or conditions run in your family?
Elsa has a cousin with cystic fibrosis (CF), a genetic condition that impacts the lungs and other organs. She wants to have a child and know her child’s risk to have CF. Genetic counseling is recommended because it would include a discussion of Elsa’s personal and family health histories, including confirming her cousin’s diagnosis with available medical records or test results (since CF can be confused with other diseases). A genetic counselor would determine Elsa’s genetic risks and genetic test options and help her understand her results and how they could impact a future child. If Elsa becomes pregnant, she could have genetic counseling again to review testing options during/after a pregnancy and discuss other updates.View More
Signs or Symptoms of a Genetic Condition
Looking to confirm a diagnosis?
Marco is a 2-month-old boy with heart problems caused by Down syndrome, a genetic condition caused by a difference in his chromosomes. His parents have his test results and want to learn about his diagnosis. Genetic counseling is recommended because it would include a supportive and accurate discussion of Marco’s diagnosis, including any risks to Marco’s parents or other family members. A genetic counselor would offer recommendations for Marco’s medical care and may partner with a medical geneticist (genetic doctor) for this. Genetic counseling could also connect Marco’s parents to support (such as similar families or an advocacy group). If Marco’s parents become pregnant, they could have genetic counseling again to review testing options during/after a pregnancy and discuss other updates.View More
How is Genetic Testing Done?
Genetic testing in partnership with genetic counselors
usually follows four key steps.
Genetic testing is performed most often with a sample of blood or saliva. Prenatal genetic testing done during a pregnancy must be done as part of a medical procedure, called an amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling (CVS). On average, the amount of time it takes to test results is 4-6 weeks (often faster for prenatal results or results that will impact treatment decisions), but this can vary depending on the test done.
Genetic counseling often includes a discussion about genetic testing, but it is a common myth that it is only valuable after you have a genetic test. Genetic counseling with a certified genetic counselor from Genome Medical before you have genetic testing, at the beginning of your genetic journey, can be just as valuable.
Discussion of Options
A genetic counselor will review your health history and your family’s health history. If proactive genetic testing could help, a genetic counselor can walk you through your best options, tell you about the pros and cons and help you decide if you want to proceed.
Deciding on Genetic Testing
If you decide to proceed forward with genetic testing, your genetic counselor will help you learn if your insurance will cover the cost of testing.
If you need to give a blood sample, you will be scheduled to have your blood drawn at a time and place convenient to you. The wait time for results varies, depending on the test.
After your results are back, you may schedule a follow-up consultation to receive your results from your genetic counselor. At this appointment, your genetic counselor will discuss and interpret your test results, uncovering unique insights for you. Your genetic counselor will take your results and all your other medical information to develop a personalized medical care plan for you. All of the information will be tailored to you and your situation, and may also be relevant to your family members.
Your genetic counselor wants to leave you with actionable next steps to take to your doctor. They will work with your primary care provider to incorporate your genetic information and recommendations into your regular health care. The Genome Medical team is able to refer to specialists where needed as well.