Every human being has a unique set of chemical blueprints affecting how his or her body looks and functions. These blueprints are contained in our DNAs. The segments of DNA that contain the instructions for making specific body proteins are called genes. Genes are neatly packaged within long spiral structures called chromosomes. Every human cell contains 46 chromosomes, arranged as 23 pairs (called autosomes), with one member of each pair inherited from each parent at the time of conception. After conception (when a sperm cell and an egg come together to make a baby), the chromosomes duplicate again and again to pass on the same genetic information to each new cell in the developing child. Twenty-two autosomes are the same in males and females. In addition, females have two X chromosomes and males have one X and one Y chromosome. The X and the Y are known as sex chromosomes. Any child who inherits an X chromosome from the father will be a girl and any that inherits a Y chromosome from the father will be a boy.

Scientists suggest that every human has about 25,000 genes per cell. An error in just one gene (and in some instances, even the alteration of a single piece of DNA) can sometimes be the cause for a serious medical condition.

Genetic counselingis the process by which clients with chances of inheriting some disorders are given information concerning such disorders and advised of the consequences and nature of the disorder, the probability of developing or transmitting it, and the options of management available to them while planning conception. Genetic counseling can help you understand your options and adjust to any uncertainties you may face, but you and your spouse will have to decide what to do.

At Alps Hospitals and Diagnostics, proper counseling prior to treatment is taken with all seriousness as this may have a life-long implication on families.