Carolinas HealthCare System

Genetic Counseling

The Center for Maternal and Fetal Care has seven board-certified genetic counselors who have completed additional clinical training and experience in medical genetics and counseling.

Preconception and Early Pregnancy Genetic Counseling Services flyer

Genetic counselors are uniquely qualified to review and interpret family histories, provide information regarding genetic or inherited conditions, provide risk assessment for birth defects (such as a heart defect) and genetic conditions (such as cystic fibrosis), discuss testing or treatment options, help decision-making in an unbiased manner and provide crisis counseling, when needed.

Genetic counselors work as part of a team and are also available for private consultation if you or your doctor have questions concerning your personal or family medical history.

Please call 704-355-3149 to schedule an appointment, or for more information on our Preconception and Early Pregnancy Genetic Counseling Services.

Your Genetic Counseling Visit

The first part of a genetic counseling session involves gathering information. This helps the genetic counselor determine your questions, concerns and motives behind your visit.  Second, a family history is taken to learn if there are issues that should be discussed. This includes questions about your health and the health of others in your family, as well as questions about any history of miscarriage, infertility, and genetic disease. If you are pregnant at the time of your visit, the genetic counselor will ask questions about any medical complications, drug or chemical exposures and maternal health problems. Third, the genetic counselor will discuss your and your children's potential risk of having a medical problem, if any risk has been identified. Fourth, you will discuss the testing options that may be available to help you learn more about your health or the health of your pregnancy. Written information and resources can be provided to you. Finally, you will decide if you want to pursue the testing options that are available to you.

Reasons to see a Genetic Counselor

Anyone who has questions about the risk for themselves or their children to have a genetic condition or birth defect should see a genetic counselor. This consultation can be scheduled before a couple becomes pregnant or during early pregnancy. View our complete list of the most common reasons for referral to a genetic counselor.

Myths about Genetic Counseling

Myth:  The genetic counselor will tell me what decisions to make.

The goal of genetic counseling is to provide you with information so that you can make informed decisions based on your own personal and cultural beliefs, values and goals. The genetic counselor will provide you with available information and other resources to support your decisions.

Myth:  Genetic counseling is scary and will only focus on the negative.

The great majority of individuals learn through genetic counseling that their current or future pregnancy will likely be healthy. Information, options and resources are provided for any existing risk factors so that you can be empowered to make informed decisions. Through review of your family history, important information can be identified to discuss with your and your family members' physicians for optimal healthcare.  

Your First Appointment

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