Genetic counseling provides information about how genetic conditions might affect you or your family.Genetic counseling is used to provide information and support to people who have, or may be at risk of having, certain genetic conditions and disorders. A genetic counselor collects your personal and family health history and then uses this information to determine the likelihood of you or a family member also inheriting a genetic condition.
Who Needs Genetic Counseling?
Genetic counseling does not treat genetic disorders—it is used to determine how likely it is that you or your family member has a genetic condition. Genetic counseling may be recommended if you:
- Have a personal or family history of a genetic condition or birth defect
- Are pregnant or planning for pregnancy
- Already have a child with a genetic disorder or birth defect
- Have a history of infertility, multiple miscarriages or stillbirth
- Have had ultrasound or screening tests that suggest a possible problem
How Genetic Counseling Works
When you see a genetic counselor, he or she will first take your full family health history. Because genetic conditions are passed down through families, it’s important to take this information into account and see how your family’s health may affect you and your children. It can help to prepare for a genetic counseling appointment by gathering:
- Your medical records
- A list of immediate and extended family members
- Information on diagnosed conditions in your family
What to Expect
Genetic counseling can lead to genetic testing, during which you may discover that you have a certain condition. A genetic counselor can help you better understand your test results and treatment options, deal with any emotional concerns and get referrals for other healthcare specialists and support groups if necessary.
Tampa General Hospital has knowledgeable and experienced staff that provide comprehensive genetic counseling for our patients as well as genetic testing and treatment for genetic conditions. Our highly experienced specialists are committed to delivering world-class outcomes for our patients.