Central Minnesota Genetic Counseling

Learn About Your Family’s Medical History

It’s important to understand the relationship between your genetics and risk for disease. What you learn may not always be easy to hear, but in the long run it is easier to be proactive rather than reactive when something serious occurs. Our genetic counselors will be here to help you plan for the future.

Our team provides information and support to individuals and families with genetic conditions or birth defects, or to individuals or couples who have an increased chance of having a child with a genetic condition or birth defect.

You May Want to See a Genetic Counselor if:

  • You, your child or a family member has been diagnosed with a genetic condition.
  • You are concerned that you, your child, or a family member has a genetic or inherited condition (Down syndrome, muscular dystrophy, etc.).
  • Your family has a history of developmental delays, hearing loss, birth defects, and/or intellectual disability/learning problems.
  • Your family has a history of cancer.
  • You are a couple who are related to each other, such as first cousins.
  • You are pregnant or considering becoming pregnant and are concerned about the health of your baby.
  • You are pregnant and will be 35 years or older at delivery.
  • You have a history of infertility or pregnancy losses (miscarriages or stillbirths).
  • You have received abnormal prenatal screening or ultrasound results.
  • Your baby had an abnormal result from newborn screening.
  • You are of specific ethnic backgrounds with increased incidence of genetic conditions (Tay-Sachs in Jewish population or sickle cell anemia in African population).

What Happens During a Genetic Counseling Appointment?

You and the genetic counselor will discuss your concerns and family’s medical history. With this information, they can advise you on steps to prevent diseases or start preparing for a condition you are likely to obtain at some point.

During your appointment, you will:

  • Talk about your personal and family health history and ethnic heritage.
  • Gain an understanding behind the causes of genetic conditions.
  • Explore testing options for genetic diseases.
  • Receive help and referrals to mental health professionals when dealing with the emotional impact of learning about a serious genetic condition.
  • Find supportive resources to help you manage a genetic condition.
  • Learn about the chances you will pass a condition on to your children.