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Critical information and support when your family needs it most
An ideal time to discuss potential genetic risk factors that may affect your pregnancy is before you become pregnant. Preconception genetic counseling can help identify risk factors. During your preconception genetic counseling visit, a genetic counselor will review your and your family’s medical history, discuss genetic screening and testing options, and provide a personalized risk assessment. If your children are at risk for a genetic condition, genetic counselors will discuss the options available for early detection, or even possibly prevention, of the condition, allowing you to make informed decisions throughout your family planning.
Many couples use assisted reproductive technologies, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), to help achieve a pregnancy. At Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women, preconception genetic counseling is offered in collaboration with our fertility services in hopes of increasing the chances of a healthy baby.
According to The American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecologists and American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics, all couples considering pregnancy should be offered genetic carrier screening. While carrier screening can be done during pregnancy, the ideal time for carrier screening is prior to conception. Preconception testing provides you the opportunity and time to use information about your genetic carrier status to make pregnancy planning decisions. For example, if you are found to be at increased risk of having a child with an inherited genetic condition, pre-implantation genetic testing (PGT) may be available to help reduce the risk for this condition in your children.
Family history assessment
A genetic counselor will review your family history and provide a personalized risk assessment about the heritability of specific health concerns present in you, your reproductive partner, or your family members. Available testing options and possible preventative measures, such as pre-implantation genetic testing (PGT), will be discussed.
Pregnancy and medications
Some medications or exposures can be harmful to a developing baby. Our physicians and genetic counselors are available to discuss possible effects of medications or potentially harmful substances during pregnancy.
Couples at risk of passing on a genetic condition have the option of undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF) combined with PGT. PGT involves performing genetic testing on embryos conceived through IVF in order to identify healthy embryos for transfer and pregnancy.
Continued care once you're pregnant
The Prenatal and Reproductive Genetics Team at Texas Children's Pavilion for Women offers Prenatal Services and other diagnostic testing to families during pregnancy.