The content of the follow-up consultation(s) does of course depend on the nature of the tests that you have had.
If a genetic abnormality has been found in you or in your partner your expectations as prospective parents will be key. During the consultation the different options will be discussed with you: natural pregnancy combined with a prenatal test, a PGT treatment, a fertility treatment with donor material, adoption, remaining childless, ...
In prenatal tests which reveal an abnormality in the foetus the team will inform you as thoroughly as possible about the consequences of the condition. After the test result further assistance is offered, both when terminating the pregnancy and when continuing with it.
In postnatal tests other factors are important. The test may show that the congenital abnormality of your child is not hereditary, but without you being sufficiently reassured to try for a subsequent pregnancy. In this situation too you can seek support from the team at the Centre for Medical Genetics (CMG), which can support you in any subsequent pregnancy.
Another situation is that of patients who have a predictive test carried out for a late onset disease (a hereditary disease that only manifest itself later in life). During these follow-up consultations the staff at the CMG try to explain the complex psychological situation in which you find yourself. The test may have taken uncertainty away but in the case of a poor result you begin the process of processing. You have to give it room in your life. Even a ‘good relationship’ does not always bring joy on its own: it may be a source of guilty feelings towards family members who may turn out to be carriers. Psychological guidance and support by an experienced social care expert are a necessity for many patients so that they can learn to live with their new reality.
Genetic tests may also have found that you have inherited a higher risk of cancer. Here the CMG team focuses on the possible preventive steps that you can take. The team also urges you to inform your family as much as you possibly can. That should motivate other family members to also inform themselves and gives them the chance to make choices themselves regarding whether or not to have tests carried out and to take preventive measures.