Genetic Counseling

Reno Maternity Care

Maternal Fetal Medicine & Gynecology located in Reno, NV

Genetic counseling provides you with information and support when you’re facing the prospect of yourself or your children developing an inherited disease. At Reno Maternity Care in Reno, Nevada, you can benefit from talking to an experienced, expertly trained genetics counselor who is a skilled communicator as well as an authority in genetics. Led by Ellen Zirkelbach, CGC, Reno Maternity Care is the only practice in the area with a genetics counselor on-site, so call today.

Genetic Counseling

What is genetic counseling?

Genetic counseling is a service for patients that explains what genetic risks they might have and what it means for them and their families.

Your certified genetic counselor at Reno Maternity Care provides social and emotional support for you and your loved ones if you’re in a situation where genetics plays a part in your health condition. All certified genetic counselors hold a masters degree in genetic counseling to best support you and your family.

Two of the main branches of genetic counseling involve pregnancy and cancer care.

How does genetic counseling help in pregnancy?

If you’re pregnant, there could be genetic conditions your baby might inherit from you and your partner or other relatives. Some of these you may know about, others you could be entirely unaware of.

Your genetic counselor provides you with the information you need about how these conditions could impact your pregnancy. You might be facing a difficult decision like whether to take a genetic test, for example. Your genetic counselor can give you the most up-to-date information to help you make the decision that’s right for you.

How does genetic counseling help in cancer care?

Some forms of cancer are hereditary, and a genetic counselor can review your family history and your medical history to determine your risk or that of your child or baby.

You can then decide whether you want to undergo testing for that cancer, knowing the limitations of testing and what possible results could mean for you and your family.

What genetic tests might I need in pregnancy?

The main genetic test you might need when you’re pregnant is the universal genetic carrier screening.

The team at Reno Maternity Care uses the Counsyl™ Family Prep Screen genetic test. This test shows parents whether they are a carrier for up to 176 different genetic diseases. These diseases include:

  • Cystic fibrosis (CF)
  • Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA)
  • Fragile X syndrome
  • Phenylketonuria (PKU)
  • Tay-Sachs disease

According to medical guidelines, prospective parents should be offered carrier screening for CF and SMA as a minimum. The new technology used by the Counsyl Family Prep Screen genetic test allows your provider to screen you for multiple genetic conditions with the same test.

Through genetic testing, it’s possible to identify more pregnancies that are at high risk for a genetic condition. This enables you to receive appropriate additional testing options that you can discuss with your genetic counselor.

Genetic counseling can give patients the ability to look after themselves and their families by considering their genetic risks. Call Reno Maternity Care today.