What is Genetic Counselling?

Genetic counselling is the process of helping people understand and adapt to the medical, psychological and familial implications of a genetic condition

Who should have genetic counselling?

  • Individuals interested in have genetic screening/testing, previously diagnosed with a genetic condition or with family history of inherited conditions or cancer
  • Women interested in the latest prenatal testing, have fetal abnormality detected during pregnancy, exposed to potential teratogen during pregnancy or with more than three miscarriages or history of still birth
  • Couples interested in carrier testing before starting a family, keen to have newborn screening for their children, require assisted reproductive technology or wish to find out their genetic risks if they related to each other (consanguinity) and wish to have children

Who provides genetic counselling?

  • Genetic counsellors or clinical geneticists & sometimes both at once
  • Genetic counsellors are Masters level health professionals trained in clinical genetics & psychosocial counselling
  • Clinical geneticists are medical doctors specialised in medical genetics who diagnose complex genetic conditions & syndromes

What happens during genetic counselling?

  • A detailed family history including medical information of yourself & your family
  • Education on genetic conditions, risk assessment, genetic testing options, clinical management and cancer prevention
  • Counselling to assist clients in making informed decisions
  • Support families in adapting to the genetic condition & provide resources