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) condition, such as sickle cell disease, cystic
fibrosis, or hemophilia.
Genetic counseling may involve:
Teaching a parent or couple about how a
specific condition is inherited or passed from parents to a
Discussing the problems a genetic condition may
Discussing whether and how to test for a genetic condition
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 condition.
Helping a person accept his or her risk for a genetic condition such as Huntington's disease. Genetic counselors also can help a person
deal with having a condition related to genetics.
individuals, couples, or families make decisions about genetic testing and any
related actions that are right for them.