If you and your partner are considering pregnancy, preconception testing at Insight can help you identify and respond to potential genetic risks you may face.
An appointment with a genetic counselor at Insight Medical Genetics will involve a thoughtful review of family histories with respect to what genetically determined or influenced conditions may be present and what the impact of ethnicity, age, and other medical and obstetrical factors may be on providing a particular, personalized focus for you and your partner.
Couples can pursue preconception counseling while dating, before getting engaged, before getting married or when planning a pregnancy. The best time to get tested is before trying to get pregnant since there may be reproductive options that you and your partner may want to consider. The goal of preconception counseling is to promote the health of your future children and your own physical and emotional well-being as a parent.
Preconception Genetic Assessment
Genetic assessment is a process that can offer you information regarding the risks of a genetic or chromosomal abnormality and what options or considerations you may find valuable as you make important reproductive decisions. A preconception assessment combines a variety of activities guided by a genetic counselor in consultation with one of Insight’s physicians. Such an assessment includes a medical history, review of any existing documents reflecting testing or screening, a determination of whether new or additional screening or testing may be appropriate, and other activities guided by the nature of your questions, concerns, and the analysis of the genetic counselor.
Genetic testing may involve diagnostic tests for conditions that you, your partner, and/or your respective family members may have that could have genetic implications for your children. Preconception genetic testing may also entail a discussion and implementation of carrier screening which involves a blood test to determine if either parent carries one or more genes that may pass an inherited disorder to a child. The genetic conditions in carrier screening tests are usually autosomal recessive which means that both parents would need to be carriers of mutations in a particular gene in order to have an increased risk of a child being affected.
Relatives with hereditary genetic conditions may increase your or your partner’s likelihood of carrying a mutation and certain disorders are tied to ethnic groups. However, genetic syndromes usually occur in families with no previous history. It takes laboratory testing to fully determine the chance of being a carrier for any particular gene.
Results for Reassurance
We want to emphasize that for many people, indeed the majority, the results of preconception testing will provide reassurance as well as potentially important information. Most couples will learn that a potential pregnancy would have a reduced risk for the abnormalities being screened. If your preconception assessment suggests an increased risk for a genetic condition, our counselors will guide you through further testing options to an informed decision about how to proceed.
Make an Appointment
At Insight, it’s our mission to guide our patients through the highest quality genetic services in a personalized private practice environment.
If you are interested in or have been referred to our prenatal counseling and prenatal screening services, please do not hesitate to contact us to set up an appointment or consultation. Before your appointment, we ask that our patients fill out the following form: