Genetic counseling offers information and support to individuals and families who are affected by or at risk of genetic diseases or conditions. Other reasons for genetic counseling include being pregnant or planning to get pregnant at the age of 35 and above, and having at least two miscarriages or babies who died.
The term was coined by Sheldon Clark Reed, an American biologist and geneticist, in 1947. This process interprets medical histories, provides education regarding heritability, testing, prevention, resources, management, and lays out the choices and adaptation techniques to the specified disorder or risk. One of the earliest conditions that was genetically screened for was Tay-Sachs disease. This condition, that causes death before the age of three, most often occurred in families of Eastern European/Ashkenazi Jewish heritage.