Pre-conception and Prenatal Genetics

Henry Ford Medical Genetics offers a wide range of services for individuals and couples who are considering pregnancy, who are currently pregnant, or those with unexplained infertility or previous miscarriages or stillbirth. We provide preconception risk assessment and genetic testing and counseling, as well as prenatal genetic diagnostic tests and counseling during pregnancy.

Pre-conception genetic services

These services are commonly used by those with:

  • A family history of birth defects, mental retardation or developmental delay
  • A family history of a neural tube defect, such as meningomyelocele (spina bifida), anencephaly, or hydrocephalus (water on the brain)
  • Concerns about being a carrier for a sex-linked genetic disease, such as hemophilia or muscular dystrophy
  • More than one miscarriage or one stillbirth
  • Concerns about ancestry-based inherited diseases, such as sickle cell anemia, Tay-Sachs disease, or familial Mediterranean fever
  • Concerns about any heritable disease, such as cystic fibrosis
  • Advanced maternal age (35 years or older)
  • Suspected infertility in men or women

Prenatal genetic services

For pregnant women, prenatal genetics are often considered by those with:

  • Abnormal ultrasound findings
  • Abnormal maternal serum screening results
  • Advanced maternal age (35 years or older at time of delivery)
  • Exposure to substances or medications that may be toxic to the fetus, such as environmental chemicals, radiation or prescription drugs
  • Exposure to infectious diseases that may harm the fetus, such as German measles (rubella) or Zika
  • Pregnancies at-risk for a heritable condition, based on parental genetic test results

Genetic evaluation and selection of services

Genetic evaluation provides individuals and families with medical evaluation, laboratory testing, information, and referral services for conditions that are or may be inherited. Individuals and families may choose to participate in some or all services offered. No one is required to undergo genetic testing.

Evaluation may include:

  • A discussion of the pregnancy history
  • A review of the family history
  • Ultrasound evaluation
  • Establishing a diagnosis, if possible
  • A discussion of prognosis and management
  • An explanation of the chance of having a pregnancy or a child with the same concern
  • A review of testing and management options
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