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?


  • interested in have genetic testing
  • diagnosed with a genetic condition
  • with family history of inherited conditions or cancer


  • interested in prenatal testing on their potential babies
  • fetal abnormality detected during pregnancy
  • exposed to potential teratogen during pregnancy
  • with more than three miscarriages or history of still birth


  • interested in carrier testing or newborn screening for their children
  • interested in assisted reproductive technology
  • consanguinity (couple are related to each other) 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
    • medical doctors specialized in medical genetics.
    • diagnose complex genetic conditions & syndromes

What happens during genetic counselling?

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