A genetic counselor is a health care professional with a master’s degree in human genetics and counseling. Genetic counseling might be useful in the following circumstances:
- Individuals with a family history of an inherited disorder, birth defects, or mental retardation.
- Individuals with abnormal results from a genetic screening or diagnostic test.
- Individuals concerned about risks to the pregnancy that might arise from his or her job, lifestyle, or medical history (including exposure to infection, medicines, alcohol, street drugs, chemicals or other environmental agents).
- A woman who is 35 years old or older when her baby is born.
- A woman who has had two or more miscarriages or early infant deaths.
- Couples who are first cousins or other close blood relatives.
- Couples with infertility thought to have a genetic cause.
- Men with congenital bilateral absence of the vas deferens (CBAVD).