How can I find out if my child might inherit my eye condition?

If you are living with an inherited retinal condition, genetic counselling will be available to you at a specialist ophthalmic genetics clinic or through your local clinical genetics service. Your GP or local ophthalmologist will be able to refer you. Genetic counsellors are specially trained healthcare professionals with extensive scientific knowledge who spend time talking to families living with inherited conditions. 

Among other things genetic counsellors can help you understand the risk of you and your partner passing on an inherited sight loss condition to your children. They can also discuss your options around family planning, testing during pregnancy, and assisted reproductive technology (pre-implantation genetic diagnosis) if you do not want your children to inherit the condition. Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis involves undergoing a special type of IVF, during which only those embryos that do not carry the genetic fault are transferred to the uterus.

For further information on genetic counsellors see How can a genetic counsellor help with inherited sight loss?

Further information about pre-implantation genetic diagnosis can be found on the Genetic Alliance UK website or contact them by email cont[email protected]; or phone 020 7831 0883.

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