In-Office Genetic Counseling with Christina Dupre, MS, CGC

The prenatal genetic counseling process allows patients the opportunity to understand potential genetic risks to a current or future pregnancy, enabling them to make informed decisions in a supportive and non-directive environment. The counselor’s genetic expertise enables discussion, arrangement and coordination of appropriate genetic testing, as well as communication of results to both patients and their providers. When indicated, genetic counselors are able to facilitate appropriate referrals to other specialists and offer patients many resources, such as education materials and connections to support groups and other families who have experienced similar situations. This process helps patients make the best decision that is right for themselves and their family in the context of their personal and cultural beliefs.

The various reasons to seek prenatal genetic counseling include:

  • Women or couples interested in screening or diagnostic testing for a current or future pregnancy
  • Women who will be 35 years or older at the time of delivery with a singleton gestation
  • Women who will be 33 or older at the time of delivery with a multiple gestation
  • Women who have had abnormal results from prenatal screening tests, such as ultrasound or blood work
  • Women who have had abnormal results from diagnostic testing, such as CVS or amniocentesis
  • Individuals of ethnic groups in which particular inherited diseases are more common, including African-American, French-Canadian, Jewish, Mediterranean or Asian backgrounds
  • Women exposed to certain medications, drugs, significant radiation, and/or particular infections during pregnancy
  • Couples with a history of multiple miscarriages or infertility
  • Individuals who are known carriers of a genetic condition
  • Couples in which either parent has a personal diagnosis, previous child, or family history of birth defect, genetic disorder or mental retardation
  • Families with known consanguinity

A genetic counseling appointment often includes the following:

  • Review of you and your partner’s medical, family and pregnancy history
  • Discussion of identified risks, including
    • Description of the features and characteristics of the condition(s) for which there may be an increased risk
    • Quantification of the risk for the current or future pregnancy
  • Discussion of available screening/testing options
    • Discussion of possible results and its implications

The ultimate goal of a prenatal genetic counseling session is to address your concerns and answer any questions you may have while providing , guidance, support and counseling.