Genetic counseling is guidance given by a health professional
(genetic counselor or medical geneticist) who is trained to help people
understand their risk of getting a disease related to genetics or of having a
child with an inherited (genetic) disease, such as sickle cell disease, cystic
fibrosis, or hemophilia.
Genetic counseling may involve:
Teaching a parent or couple about how a
specific disease is inherited or passed from parents to a
Discussing what problems a genetic disease may
Discussing whether and how to test for a genetic disease
before a woman becomes pregnant or before a child is
Discussing the likelihood, based on test results, that the
couple will have a child with a genetic disease.
Helping a person adapt to the risk of developing a genetic
disease such as Huntington's disease. Genetic counselors also can help a person
deal with having a disease related to genetics.
individuals, couples, or families make decisions about genetic testing and any
related actions that are right for them.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.