Genetic counselling for people with thalassaemia

The genetics of thalassaemia are complicated and you can discuss or ask any questions about this with your haematology clinic or asked to be referred to a genetic counsellor. If you are planning to start a family you should arrange for your partner to be tested before you get pregnant if they do not know whether they are a carrier. If this shows you are at risk of having an affected child the option of prenatal diagnosis will be discussed.

A genetic counsellor can help you understand:

  • the risks and benefits of you having a genetic test
  • the potential results of your test and what they mean
  • how your family members may be affected if the test shows a serious health condition runs in your family
  • the risk of you and your partner passing on a health condition to your children
  • your options if you have a child with an inherited health condition and you do not want your next child to inherit it.

The British Society for Genetic Medicine has a list of organisations that offer information and support.