What is genetic counselling and testing?
We appreciate that not everyone has access to genetic test results, depending on where donors come from, and indeed couples who are not using a fertility clinic are very unlikely to be aware of their carrier status at all.
However, finding out about the donor’s genetic mutation carrier status had several practical consequences for us. Protocol insists that we undergo genetic counselling through our fertility clinic. Otherwise, we’d have to change our donor. Having been specific enough in our quest for mixed-race sperm, we didn’t want to do a knee jerk swap, so ahead we went with the genetic counselling.
What is genetic counselling? Genetic counselling entailed a one-hour session with a fertility specialist, who explained in very clear terms how genetic disorders can be passed down, stated the statistics and prompted us to think about the risks we might be prepared to take versus how thorough we really needed to be with a screening of my wife (if that was what we wanted to do).
Testing entails more expense but, in terms of process, only involves a blood test which was arranged by our fertility clinic. It takes on average 4-5 weeks for the results to come back. There are also different levels of screening, depending on how thorough you want to be with the list of genetic mutations tested.