Should We Have Genetic Counseling before Trying to Conceive?

Should We Have Genetic Counseling before Trying to Conceive?

It isn’t exactly ideal, but sometimes stress and worry go hand in hand with pregnancy and conception. One of the biggest and scariest things about getting pregnant is the worry that something will happen to your baby, or that your baby will not be healthy. Some couples choose to undergo genetic counseling before trying to conceive for various reasons, but most importantly to ensure that the baby they conceive will be healthy. Claim Your 20 Free Pregnancy Tests – Click Here

What is genetic counseling?

Genetic counseling is when a couple meets with a specialist to evaluate the risks of getting pregnant and to find out how likely it is that their child will be born with a birth defect or genetic disorder. The genetic counseling process is very detailed. It involves a mix of genetic testing, medical records, and interviews with the couples, and expert doctor’s advice. Doctors will often take blood or tissues samples, or sometimes both, to evaluate them for risk of diseases.

Who should get genetic counseling?

Any couple that wishes to have genetic counseling can have it done. However, it is normally only recommended for couples who have a high risk of a birth defect or other genetic disease being passed down to their child. If either partner has a risk factor or family risk factor for a genetic disease or birth defect, they should think about having genetic counseling done.

However, it is available for any couple, because sometimes birth defects and diseases occur when there is no family history of the disorders. This is true for conditions such as Down Syndrome, which occurs from a cell mutation rather than from genetics.

What does genetic testing do?

While genetic testing can not tell you for sure whether or not your baby will have a problem, it can evaluate all of the risks involved and the specialists can let you know a percentage as to how likely it is that your baby will develop one of these disorders. Genetic counselors are very well trained and can help you understand the results of the genetic testing, and can help you sort out the risks associated with getting pregnant.

They can also help you deal with the feelings such as worry, sadness, and stress that come along with genetic testing. If you are interested in taking part in genetic counseling, ask your doctor or health care professional for more information.

How accurate is genetic testing?

The experts will tell you that genetic testing is highly accurate. Remember, it is only giving you a percentage chance of begin susceptible to certain genetic disorders. Genetic tests vary in their ability to predict disease. False negative and false positive results occur at different rates for different tests. Even a very low rate of error can cause major problems, perhaps 10,000 people of 1,000,000 test ‘positive’ for a genetic disorder they do not have.

So take the results with a grain of salt, or take serious thought before undergoing genetic counseling. If the results would not change the course of your pregnancy, then perhaps forego the counseling to minimize the risk of a devastating false positive.

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Alyssia Granger
Alyssia Granger | ConceiveEasy
Alyssia is mom to 2 giggley twin girls, Sophia and Emma, and son Hunter. She's a Southern girl, passionate about photography, travel and her husband Josh.