Eight indications for referral to genetic counseling

July 25, 2019

Obstetricians need to have a strategy to provide basic pretest education and counseling to their pregnant patients.

In some cases, it’s prudent to refer a patient to a genetic counselor for discussion of testing options. However, it’s neither practical nor realistic to send every prenatal patient for formal genetic counseling. Therefore, obstetricians need to have a strategy to provide basic pretest education and counseling to their pregnant patients.

For more information on genetic testing: New tools for counseling on prenatal genetic testing

These are eight indications for referral to genetic counseling:

1.  Family history of a known or suspected genetic disorder
2.  Known carrier of a genetic condition
3.  Consanguinity (blood relationship of parents, first cousins, or closer)
4.  Fetal structural anomaly on prenatal ultrasound
5.  Abnormal screening test result either traditional serum screening or cell-free DNA screening.
6.  Known teratogenic exposure
7.  Recurrent pregnancy loss (3 or more first-trimester losses, stillbirth, or neonatal or fetal loss with structural anomalies)
8.  Patient request for additional information regarding genetic test options