Prenatal genetic counselors work with individuals, couples, or families who have an increased chance of having a child with a birth defect or genetic condition.
Reproductive genetic consultations are provided for a variety of indications including genetic carrier testing, assessment of risks for known hereditary disorders in the family, advanced maternal age, abnormal genetic screening results, recurrent pregnancy loss and structural birth defects in pregnancy that may increase the chances of a genetic diagnosis in the fetus.
Those who are considering having a child in the future or are currently pregnant can meet with a prenatal genetic counselor to learn more about the diagnosis in question, understand risk assessment, and discuss options for prenatal screening, testing, and/or assisted reproduction techniques such as sperm and egg donation.
In the setting of fetal abnormalities that increase the chance of a genetic diagnosis, a genetic counselor may help the expecting couple understand the medical information, what to expect, and how to prepare for the birth of a child with special needs.
Genetic Counseling includes:
- Analysis of your family history for genetic disorders and reproductive risk factors
- Assess results of genetic screening for inherited conditions
- Evaluation for genetic diagnoses in pregnancies with structural birth defects
- Education regarding benefits and limitations of genetic testing in pregnancy and assist families reach decisions about the best options suited to their needs and desire for information
- Coordinate the appropriate sub-specialty care in context of known maternal and/or fetal genetic disorder
Genetic counselors have completed a master’s program in genetics and counseling. They must also pass an exam administered by the American Board of Genetic Counseling.
Meet Fetal Diagnostic Center’s Genetic Counselor
Karina Seidl Nall, M.S.
Karina Seidl Nall is a board certified genetic counselor. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Molecular and cellular biology from the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona, followed by a master’s degree in genetic counseling at the Virginia Commonwealth University/Medical College of Virginia.
After practicing in Michigan, Karina relocated to the Phoenix area where she has been a prenatal genetic counselor since 2006. Karina is a member of the National Society of Genetic Counselors and the International Society for Prenatal Diagnosis.
Karina’s genetic counseling philosophy is patient-centered and focuses on helping couples make informed choices about options for reproductive screening and genetic testing, medical management, and family communication through the process of facilitated decision making. Her capability and know-how is augmented by an effective and culturally sensitive approach to diverse populations. She uses her prior clinical experience to provide support for patients’ decisions based on their genetic testing outcomes. In particular, she strives to incorporate emerging genetic knowledge and recent technological advances to offer exemplary patient care.
Karina believes her prior experience will enhance assistance to local physicians involved in the ongoing care of the next generation of Arizona families.