Up to five percent of babies are born with a birth defect or genetic condition. Many couples have the unfortunate misconception that genetic counseling is only beneficial for couples over age 35 or those with strong family histories of disease. Surprisingly 75 percent of babies born with Downs syndrome, a chromosomal disorder, are born to women under 35.
Anyone can have a child with a birth defect or genetic disorder.
When to Consider Genetic Counseling
- You are a woman over age 34 and are pregnant or want to be pregnant.
- You are pregnant and blood tests or an ultrasound show the baby may have a problem.
- You have a personal or family history of genetic disorders or birth defects, such as cystic fibrosis, Downs syndrome, spina bifida, or muscular dystrophy.
- You are worried that your medical condition, such as diabetes or epilepsy, may affect your baby.
- You have had three or more miscarriages or stillbirths.
- You and your partner are first cousins or are closely related.
- You have used alcohol or drugs or were exposed to radiation or chemicals during your pregnancy.
- You are taking or have taken medications for a health condition and are pregnant or want to become pregnant.
How We Can Help
Genetic Counseling Can Help You:
- Better understand your chances of giving birth to a child with a birth defect or genetic disorder.
- Answer questions and discuss medical concepts about your "family tree".
- Understand your choices for finding and treating birth defects or health problems in your baby.
- Get accurate, current information.
- Plan for the care of a child born with a birth defect or other health problems.
The role of the genetic counselor is not to influence or direct people's decisions, but rather to give them the knowledge they need to make informed decisions on their own terms. Genetic counseling provides a support resource to help couples adjust to the impact a disorder may have on their lives and learn to manage it.
Our team is comprised of a medical geneticist physician and certified genetic counselors current in the latest technology and care options.
A physician referral is required to schedule an appointment with a genetic counselor.
To schedule an appointment with a member of the genetic team, call (630) 933-6249. TTY for the hearing impaired (630) 933-4833.
Genetic counseling is often covered by insurance companies, but check with your provider before scheduling your appointment. Insurance coverage depends on your specific policy and the reason for seeking genetic counseling.
Other Genetic Counseling Services
Genetic Counseling is also available to determine cancer risk .