The latest genetic testing technologies

If a genetic condition affects your family, the Prenatal Genetics Clinic team can help you understand the disorder and prepare for the future. At Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women, you’ll find the latest genetic testing technologies and advanced fetal diagnostic resources. We provide your family with support and empower you to make decisions about your child’s care as early as possible.

What is prenatal genetic testing?

Prenatal genetic testing can help find out whether an unborn baby has a genetic disorder, which can increase your baby’s risk of health problems. Some are present at birth (congenital conditions) and others develop later in life, affecting your child’s growth and development. An example of a chromosome disorder is Down syndrome.


Our prenatal services for genetic counseling and testing

The Prenatal Genetics Clinic at the Pavilion for Women is the largest of its kind in the country. Our board-certified medical geneticists and counselors specialize in prenatal and reproductive genetic risk assessment. Our services include:

  • Evaluation of your family history: Our genetic counselors discuss the health of your pregnancy and make recommendations based on your family’s medical history.
  • Advice about tests: We explain the purpose, risks, benefits and limits of diagnostic procedures, and we talk with you about what to expect with noninvasive and minimally invasive tests.
  • Compassionate family counseling: It can be hard to navigate the emotional challenges that come with the diagnosis of a fetal condition. Our genetic counselors are here to provide support when you need it.
  • Patient advocacy for fetal procedures: When a fetal treatment is a possibility, our genetic counselors act as your advocate. We help you understand the situation and make sure you and your unborn baby receive the best possible care.


Fetal diagnostic testing we offer

We perform screenings and diagnostic tests to evaluate your baby’s health before birth to help plan their care. Fetal tests we offer include:

  • Amniocentesis: Specialists test a small sample of amniotic fluid, which surrounds and protects your baby in the uterus (womb), for signs of genetic disorders and other issues.
  • Fetal echocardiogram: Heart ultrasound imaging allows us to view your baby’s heart beating in real time so we can evaluate their heart for congenital heart conditions.
  • Placental biopsy: Specialists in chorionic villus sampling, also known as CVS or placental biopsy, take a tiny tissue sample from outside the sac in which your baby develops. We test the sample for signs of genetic conditions.
  • Ultrasound: Ultrasound imaging can help provide important information about your baby’s health and conditions in your uterus.


Our support services for your new baby

We understand that the challenges of a pregnancy complicated by a genetic condition don’t always end at delivery. That’s why our genetic counselors can remain part of your family’s treatment team as your child grows. We offer:

  • Family care after delivery: Caring for a child with medical needs can feel overwhelming. We provide emotional support and connect you with psychological counseling, community resources and other services for your family’s future.
  • Support groups: We can connect you with local and national support groups and provide contact information of other families who have had similar experiences.
  • Prepregnancy support: If you decide to have another baby, we offer prepregnancy services through our Prenatal and Reproductive Genetics Program.