Before you undergo genetic testing, gather as much information as you can about your family's medical history. Then, talk with your doctor or a genetic counselor about your personal and family medical history. This can help you better understand your risk. Discuss questions or concerns you have about genetic testing at that meeting. Also, talk about your options, depending on the results of the test.
If you are being tested for a genetic disorder that runs in families, you may want to consider discussing your decision to undergo genetic testing with your family. Having these conversations before testing can give you a sense of how your family might respond to your test results and how it will affect them.
Not all health insurance pays for genetic testing. So, before you have a genetic test, check with your insurance provider to see what will be covered. In the United States, the federal Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) helps prevent health insurers or employers from discriminating against you based on test results. Most states offer additional protection.
July 19, 2013
- Handbook — Help me understand genetics. Genetics Home Reference. http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/handbook/. Accessed May 7, 2013.
- Frequently asked questions about genetic testing. National Human Genome Research Institute. http://www.genome.gov/19516567. Accessed May 7, 2013.
- Raby BA, et al. Genetic counseling and testing. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 8, 2013.
- Grody WW, et al. ACMG position statement on prenatal/preconception expanded carrier screening. American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics. Genetics in Medicine. In press. Accessed May 8, 2013.
- Harms RW (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. May 10, 2013.