Genetic Counseling

The goal of genetic counseling is to understand your individual risk for certain genetic disorders and the testing options that are available to assess that risk. Genetic counselors work to educate about testing options, inheritance, family histories as well as identify resources and research.  The point of genetic counseling is to promote informed, individual choices that are in line with a persons own ethics, beliefs and values. 

The Process

During your prenatal or preconception appointment, we'll discuss the testing options available based on your ethnicity, family history and pregnancy history.  I'll inform you of the screening and diagnostic tests available during pregnancy to assess for Down Syndrome and other chromosomal disorders.  We will also cover population and ethnicity based screenings, such as carrier screening for diseases such as cystic fibrosis, spinal muscular atrophy and other recessive conditions. A discussion of your family history will also be performed with a focus on conditions or traits you may be concerned about. 




All prenatal genetic testing is optional, but how do you know if these options are right for you and your family?

SFGC provides individualized genetic counseling, focused on determining which, if any, prenatal testing is right for you. You'll learn what these tests can and cannot reveal, while we determine how these options fit into your own personal ethics and desires.

There is more here than just the "big question," to terminate vs. not terminate. Genetic screening and testing during a pregnancy can help inform all kinds of decisions during a pregnancy.

Through a personalized decision making process, SFGC will help determine what screening or testing strategy is right for you, even if that means no screening at all.

Counseling for Home DNA Testing results

Your 23andMe results are in... but what does this all really mean?
Are the "protective variants" really protective?
Are there other actions I should be taking?
Am I really "low risk" for the diseases tested for? 

23andMe testing is not diagnostic, and it’s possible you’ve not been fully tested for the conditions you’re most worried about.
If lingering questions exist, I can help you understand your results and determine if there is more to do in an independent, honest way. 

Reproductive: Fertility & Preconception

Some genetic testing, such as carrier screening, is best performed before pregnancy. If you’re ready to start your family, but want to be sure you’re fully ready, SFGC can help facilitate testing and determine if there are any other considerations before you start.

In the same sphere, maybe your path to a family includes a fertility clinic. SFGC can discuss options for PGD (preimplantation genetic diagnosis) or PGS (prenatal genetic screening). Understanding what these options are will let you know if they are right for you or not.

Donor Screening/LGBTQ

There are many ways to make a family, and if you're considering using a donor to make yours, finding the right one can be a daunting task. 

SFGC can facilitate choosing a donor by analyzing a prospective donor’s family history and coordinating genetic carrier screening.  These services are especially helpful for families using known donors or home insemination. You can feel confident you’ve chosen well by obtaining a full family history. SFGC is LGBTQ friendly and supportive of all ways to create a family.


Janine Mash, LCGC

Janine Mash has been a certified and licensed genetic counselor for nearly 10 years, specializing in preconception and prenatal counseling.

Trained at the University of Colorado - Denver, Janine obtained an extensive background in laboratory testing before moving onto clinical work at Natera, UCSF, and Stanford.

On a personal level, Janine is a mother of three daughters. She is an adovocate of evidence-based medicine and strongly believes everyone has the right to give birth where they feel most comfortable, supported by providers with their best interests at heart.

Janine Mash is licensed by the State of California and,
certified by the American Board of Genetic Counselors

May 2019

San Francisco Genetic Counseling
enters agreement with
The Sperm Bank of California

Read Full Article


$235 for the inital session*,
$65 per follow up session, if needed

Donor screening: an additional $75 to for each prospective donor

A session includes one 60 minute consult, referrals for desired testing, plan for results, a written summary of the communication provided and an additional 2 weeks of free email contact.

Fees are due at the point of service.

A $45 deposit is required at the time of booking. This deposit is refundable until 48 hours before your appointment.

If your insurance covers genetic counseling, reimbursement can be pursued directly though your insurer. 

*Need based rates may be available on a case by case basis.



San Francisco Birth Center



In person Appointments available on
Friday Mornings

San Francisco Birth Center
2300 Sutter Street, Ste 301
San Francisco, CA 94115

Online appointments also available


Janine Mash, LCGC

phone: (415) 715-9698
fax: (855) 676-7336

Name *