Starting A Family: Is Genetic Counseling Necessary?

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You have discussed it and concluded it is time to add a branch to your family tree. Now, the conception journey begins. But before you dive in, you come across genetic counseling. Las Vegas OB/GYN genetic counseling entails getting the information and support on the genetic disorder risks established by analyzing your family history inheritance patterns and calculating the potential possibility of recurrence.

Why genetic counseling is Necessary

Infertility, miscarriages, congenital disabilities, premature, multiple, and difficult births, to mention a few concerns, stem from genetics. Most, if not all, can be managed. Let us look at some tests common with genetic counseling to paint an image of its essence in your family planning quests.

Preconception Testing

Preconception testing establishes if there is a higher risk of the pregnancy being affected by an inherited genetic condition. If you know of an inherited condition in your family line, the test is recommendable, also referred to as carrier testing. It helps you take relevant measures to facilitate successful conception and smooth pregnancy.

Preimplantaion Testing (PGD)

PGD is a popular test, especially for those using alternative reproductive technology (ART. Before an embryo transfer, a test is undertaken to ensure they are healthy. This facilitates smooth progress, especially as some risks such as implantation failure and miscarriages are lowered. This is since the doctor only uses embryos with no chromosomal abnormalities.

A preimplantation genetic diagnosis can show if there is a specific inherited condition. This allows you to avoid, if possible, passing conditions to the kid you want to add to your family. This can be followed by prenatal testing, further establishing your unborn child’s health.

Newborn Screening

Newborn genetic testing detects inherited conditions. Most conditions have early treatment options. If the baby has inherited a condition, you will follow the right treatment steps to ensure it does not affect them in the long run. This typically includes follow-ups, ensuring your newborn is in good health and develops healthily.

While many babies are conceived and born healthy, it is not always a straightforward process. Genetic counseling is highly recommended if:

  • You are aware of genetic conditions in your family
  • Has struggled to get pregnant
  • Had miscarriages
  • 35 years or older

Your genetic counselor helps you understand genetic disorders. This includes their implications on your family planning endeavors. It also touches on context, considering the personal, familial, and cultural setting. With the counselor’s support, you will navigate the process easier. They can refer you to other health professionals, act as a patient advocate, and help you find community support services if needed.

Starting a family is an exciting thought. It can also turn sore if things do not go as planned. For many people, family planning does not go beyond pregnancy timing. Others have a hard time, struggling for years to conceive. Even then, carrying to term can be an overwhelming journey. Genetic counseling could change it all. This is more so since you might only need a little adjustment to turn the situation around.

For all your conception, pregnancy, and birth-related needs, consults Darin Swainston, MD, FACOG. Professional guidance makes the journey easier, helping you deliver a healthy baby without challenges.