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Genetic Counselling

A woman is counselling with a doctor about indications for genetic counselling.
  • What is Genetic Counselling?
    A genetic counsellor is a health care professional can give you information regarding you and your baby. With information from your personal and family health history, they can determine what the chances are that you or your baby could have a genetic condition. Based on this information, the genetic counsellor can help you decide whether a genetic testing might be right for you and your pregnancy.
  • Indications for Genetic Counselling
    Non-invasive prenatal testing Family or maternal history of a genetic condition Previous pregnancy or previous child affected with a genetic condition Carrier screening First trimester risk assessment discussion Soft markers Recurrent miscarriages
  • What tests can be ordered through genetic counselling services?
    NIPT for chromosome aneuploidies, microdeletions, autosomal recessive and de novo conditions First trimester screen Carrier screening for increased risk populations (Ashkenazi Jewish, Woodlands Cree, African, Asian and certain French Canadian regions) Carrier screening for rare conditions NIPT for paternity testing
  • Practical info on appointments and tests
    When you meet a genetic counselling, they may ask questions about your personal and family history for you and your partner. Usually, the meeting will take 30-60 minutes. You may want to have your partner with you. If you decide to have genetic testing, you will have a blood test at our clinic too.
  • First trimester screen
    During the first trimester of pregnancy, screening tests for birth defects may be done. These tests look for possible problems with your baby. The tests may be called first-trimester screening, combined first-trimester screening, or the combined screening. The screening tests show the chance of your baby having certain birth defects such as Down syndrome or trisomy 18. First-trimester screening tests include: Blood tests These measure the level of two substances in the blood called pregnancy-associated plasma protein A (PAPP-A) and beta-human chorionic gonadotropin hormone (beta-hCG). PAPP-A is a protein in the blood. Beta-hCG is a hormone made by the placenta. In some areas, other blood tests may be used. Nuchal translucency test This test uses ultrasound to measure the thickness of the skin at the back of your baby's neck. An increase in the thickness can be an early sign of Down syndrome. (From website)
  • Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing
    Non-Invasive prenatal testing is a blood test that can determine the risk for Down syndrome, Trisomy 18 and Trisomy 13 with a detection rate of 97-99%. In additional, it can tell you if the baby is a boy of girl.
  • Inheritable/familial conditions screening and testing
    We are all carriers of genetic conditions. But if you and your partner are carriers of the same condition, your baby could be at risk. There is carrier screening for about 300 known genetic conditions. Some examples of genetic conditions include Fragile X syndrome, spinal muscular atrophy and Cystic Fibrosis. Carrier screening can be done before you are having children or while you are pregnant. Link to website that offers carrier screening
  • Pre-conception consults
    Some couples are trying to decide if they will want to try and have children or not. If they would like to undergo carrier screening, or if they have a medical or family history of a genetic condition, this may play a role in their decision making. If this information would help you make your decision, you can be referred to our clinic for genetic counselling.
  • Possible outcomes
    Most individuals that undergo genetic screening will have a reassuring result, however if the results are concerning, we will talk with you about what this may mean for you and your family.
  • Inclusivity and medical trauma sensitivity training
    We recognize that our clients come from a beautifully diverse background in terms of ethnicity, gender, medical issues and body sizes. In addition, some have been impacted by medical trauma. Our staff were hired as we found them naturally empathic, non-judgmental, genuine and empowering. However, we also undergo ongoing inclusivity and medical trauma sensitivity training.
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Looking to book a genetic counselling appointment or want to learn more?

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