Adult Onset CounselingPeople who suspect they are developing a genetic disorder can go in for adult onset genetic counseling. Some disorders that may not develop until adulthood include:
- Spinal Muscular Atrophy
- Myotonic dystrophy
- Huntington disease
- Breast cancer
Compile Your Family Medical History
Your counselor will likely want you to provide a detailed family medical history and background to determine whether your child is at risk of developing any medical conditions. If you have an upcoming appointment for genetic counseling, you should gather all of your relatives' medical information.
This includes your parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles and cousins. Your partner will also need to talk to all of his relatives.
You should collect medical records that have information on family members with birth defects, breast cancer, heart disease, hearing or vision problems, genetic disorders, mental illness, mental retardation, learning problems, kidney disease, asthma, diabetes, and high blood pressure as well as lifestyle habits like alcohol consumption and smoking.
What Can I Expect From This Visit?If you’re trying to conceive, genetic counselors will analyze your family’s medical history to determine the likelihood of certain genetic diseases. They may order tests to find out more information and can interpret medical results that you may not understand. They may discuss the risks of certain disorders, explain inheritance patterns in genetic disorders and outline the likelihood of you passing on a defective gene to a child.
In the event that a test has confirmed the presence of a genetic disorders or medical condition in you or your partner, a genetic counselor can explain the condition and discuss further treatment with you. They can advise you on assisted reproductive technology, gene therapy options, in vitro fertilization coupled with PGD or adoption.
All Decisions Are Up to You
Since there is a lot of information presented to you at these appointments, your counselor may provide you with a written personal summary on your health information along with pamphlets on genetic disorders and conditions.
All information discussed during your appointment is confidential. Your counselor can only provide the information and will not make choices for you.