Genetic Counselling

Genetic counselling is guidance given by a health professional (genetic counsellor 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 counselling may involve:

  • Teaching a parent or couple about how a specific condition is inherited or passed from parents to a child.
  • Discussing the problems a genetic condition may cause.
  • Discussing whether and how to test for a genetic condition before a woman becomes pregnant or before a child is born.
  • 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 counsellors also can help a person deal with having a condition related to genetics.
  • Helping individuals, couples, or families make decisions about genetic testing and any related actions that are right for them.

Is it an emergency?

If you or someone in your care has chest pains, difficulty breathing, or severe bleeding, it could be a life-threatening emergency. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately.
If you are concerned about a possible poisoning or exposure to a toxic substance, call Poison Control now at 1-800-567-8911.

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