Do You Need Genetic Counseling?

Genetic testing can help prepare you for the possibility of raising a child who might need some extra care.

Anyone can seek genetic counseling before or after getting pregnant, but some are more likely than others to truly need it. If you answer yes to any of these questions, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists guidelines say you may want to consider genetic counseling and screening for mutations that could affect your children:

  1. Do any of your blood relatives have mental retardation, birth defects, autism, or Fragile X syndrome?
  2. Are you a woman who had ovarian failure and early menopause before age 40?
  3. Do you or your partner have a family history of cystic fibrosis (CF)?
  4. Are you and your partner both Caucasian or European? CF is more common in these ethnicities than others.
  5. Are you or your partner of Eastern European Jewish (Ashkenazi) descent? If so, you may carry genes for Canavan disease, CF, familial dysautonomia or Tay-Sachs disease.

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