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Talking to your doctor about genetic tests and disorders

When considering genetic testing, one of your best resources for information is your physician; however, it can be difficult to start the conversation or to know what questions to ask.

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Questions to ask your doctor

If you have questions about a specific disorder, such as cystic fibrosis or Down syndrome, we’ve posted general information about diseases and conditions that may help.

We’ve also listed some basic questions below to ask your physician prior to moving forward with genetic testing.

  • Why should I have genetic testing?
  • What genetic tests should I consider?
  • What should I do to prepare for my test?
  • How long will it take to get my results?
  • How do I get my test results?
  • Are there any additional tests I should consider?
  • Questions specifically for diagnostic tests (e.g., amniocentesis):
    • Who will perform the procedure?
    • What is the experience of the doctor who will perform the procedure?
    • What, if any, are the risks to this procedure?
    • Do I need a full bladder?
    • Do I need to bring in any medical records (e.g., blood type)?
    • Do I have to take any special precautions after my procedure?
    • What physical signs should I be aware of after my procedure and if I experience them, what should I do?
    • Whom do I call if I experience a problem?

Additional Resources