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Reasons why genetic counselling is essential.

Genetics is a recent but powerful addition to the support system available to couples planning to become parents.

It has unparalleled power in determining the risk of passing genetic disorders (like cystic fibrosis), chromosomal disorders (such as Down's syndrome), or congenital defects (like cleft palate).

A genetic counsellor can interpret test results and help you understand your risk of passing on a hereditary disease, and how you might manage that risk, or what other decisions you might take. The test is done for diseases like Haemophilia, Thalassaemia (more common in those with a Greek heritage), Tay-Sachs disease, sickle cell anemia (more common in those with an African heritage), and cystic fibrosis.

Other than heredity, a history of repeated miscarriages or a blood relationship between partners is a reason to seek genetic counselling. Your doctor can arrange a referral if you are concerned and need to get more insight into the subject.

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