Understanding carrier screening

The Family Prep Screen looks at hundreds to thousands of critical changes within your DNA, known as mutations. A positive result means that you are a carrier of a genetic disease. Carriers are typically healthy and unaware of the mutation within their bodies. If two people are carriers of the same disease, they can give birth to a child with symptoms.


Learn from Kaylene, a member of our clinical team.

Passed through generations

As you prepare for a family, it is exciting to think about the traits your children might inherit from you and your partner. Will they have your grandfather’s eyes, your mother’s intellect, your partner’s smile or your sense of humor? Above all, we find ourselves hoping for a healthy baby. The Family Prep Screen looks at your DNA for serious genetic diseases that you can unknowingly pass to your future children, even if everyone in your family is completely healthy. Counsyl gives you access to information about health issues that you may not have anticipated being a concern. This allows you to make choices that are right for your growing family.

Many of us are healthy carriers

If you test positive for a condition on the Family Prep Screen, you are called a “carrier.” Many of us are healthy carriers of genetic diseases— what you want to know is whether you and your partner are both carriers of the same disease. In this case, you would face a 1 in 4 (or 25%) chance with every pregnancy to have a child with symptoms. Most disorders on the Family Prep Screen are inherited this way, so the results are useful in preparing for a family. In rare circumstances, you may learn from the Family Prep Screen that you personally have an elevated risk for symptoms of a mild disease, like G6PD. In most cases, you will simply learn whether you are a healthy carrier.

Inheritance of a genetic disease with carrier parents

How it works


Get started online and we will contact your physician to obtain medical approval.


Receive a Counsyl kit in the mail, along with instructions for registering online.


Use the kit to send a saliva specimen back to Counsyl in a prepaid envelope.


In roughly two weeks, view your results online and speak with our clinical team.

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