A genetic counsellor is a highly trained professional who supports families before and after conception. Quite often a miscarriage is caused by a genetic abnormality in the fertilised egg or embryo. This is usually a one off and can affect any woman. However if a woman has recurrent miscarriages it may be that you are carrying a genetic condition. Women and their partner’s are referred to a genetic counsellor where there is a medical condition that can affect an offspring, or can affect the chances of becoming pregnant and continuing with that pregnancy. For example, if there is a history of sickle cell or downs syndrome in the family. It may be that either or both couples are carrying a gene which can affect a developing baby. The genetic counsellor will help you understand what this means for you and getting/being pregnant, also about what tests may be available to determine if you have an affected baby. The counsellor will discuss a range of issue and also take in to consideration the moral and ethical issues related to genetic testing. As women often feel stress, guilt, confusion when in this type of situation 1.
1 The maternal self in pregnant women undergoing maternal serum screening - Journal of Clinical Nursing , vol 16, no 6, June 2007, pp 1180-1185 Chiang HH; Chao YM; Yuh YS - (2007)