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Frequently asked questions

That we hope can help answer yours.

About

Made up of clinician, technologists, developers and operation leads, we believe in empowering healthcare decisions for all people. We are improving health outcomes for all peoples with compassionate healthcare and accessible technology.

We offer at home genetic tests to help people make smarter health choices at various stages of their life.

With all-inclusive clinical genetic services offering access to genetic testing and genetic counselling, we believe that everyone, everywhere ought to have access to genetic specialists and world- leading technology to empower and inform healthcare decision making.

We offer end-to-end genetic testing for carrier screening, proactive cancer risk testing and proactive cardiac health testing. Our service includes pre and post-test genetic counselling, information that is accessible and available when you want it, and tertiary referral service when required.

All of our clinical services are chosen based on our values of empowering every human with relevant and actionable personalised healthcare information.

We only work with labs that have International certification. That means that you can trust that the technology, the interpretation and the privacy policies are all above board.

All our tests are clinically actionable, which means the results of your test will be recognised as medically significant by doctors and other genetic clinics.

Having supported over 10,000 members, we've learnt a lot about what matters to you, so- Eugene is simple - we offer an all-inclusive service all from the comfort and safety of your home. Testing, genetic counselling and of course shipping and handling are included.Eugene is inclusive and the results are actionable - We screen over 260 genetic conditions that are relevant to people of all ethnic backgrounds and use the latest technology to ensure the highest sensitivity of results - which means you get the action-focussed answers to help you make informed healthcare choices. We've developed lots of helpful information to support you to learn at your own pace and the first version of our app can help you keep track of your journey too. We know how important your personal health information and genetic data are - so we've built our own security systems to ensure it stays private! We take the time to listen to your story so that we can support you and your individual needs while giving you access to the best technology on your terms.

Troubleshooting

If you are having trouble logging in to our member portal, please contact us and share your name, the email address you used to register your account, and the issue you are having.

Sometimes our partner invitation email goes to Spam. If it is not there, please share the login  link (members.eugenelabs.com/) with your partner and have them log in using the same email address of theirs that you shared with us.

If you are still struggling, please contact us and include your partner’s name, mobile number and email address.

How can I update my family history?

You can update your family history via the Eugene Portal

Simply follow the below steps to make any amendments to your family history:

Step 1 - Log in to your member portal

Step 2 - In the Dashboard, click on ‘Family History’

Step 3 - On the ‘Family History’ page, click ‘Edit’

Step 4 - Update your family history with your changes

Step 5 - Click ‘Save’

To limit the need for remembering yet another password, we use magic login’s instead. This means, if you head our member portal and log in using your email address, you will receive an email with a one-time-use password to log in to our member portal. Please ensure that you enter your email as you wrote it when you first registered.

My eugene journey

Our members can be self-referred or have a referral from a healthcare practitioner.e. If you have been referred by a healthcare practitioner, there is a ‘referring doctor’ field that you can fill in to let us know that you’d like us to share your results with them. If you are self-referred, or have another practitioner that you’d like your results to be shared with, you are welcome to add their details there too.

Genetic counsellors guide people in making important decisions about how genetics influences their health. They are not doctors but are genetic specialists that are trained to identify, explore and explain genetic risk. They can help you be practically and emotionally prepared to make empowered choices that feel right for you.

Unfortunately, our tests are not covered by private health insurance, nor can you access a Medicare rebate for tests. As we provide an at-home test that doesn’t require an office visit, and we cannot currently accept payment from insurance providers.

If you have a family history of a specific genetic condition please disclose this to your genetic counsellor as there may be funding available to you.

Everything at eugene happens online so you can do it all from home - we’ll mail your test kits to you within 2-business days, and all other steps are accessible online via our member portal.

Want to learn more?

Click here for more information and to purchase our pre-pregnancy carrier screening kit

Click here for more information and to purchase our proactive cancer risk kit

Click here for more information and purchase our proactive heart health screening kit

We offer payment via ShopPay, PayPal, GPay, Credit Card, AfterPay and ZipPay.

If you would like to partially pay now and spread payments over several payments, we offer:

- PayPal pay in 4: this divides the purchase cost into 4 equal payments

- ZipPay: this allows for as little as $40/month

- AfterPay: this divides the purchase cost into 4 equal payments

ShopPay, PayPal and GPay are accessible via our Express Checkout.

To pay via Credit Card, AfterPay or ZipPay you will need to choose the standard checkout option by filling in your contact information and shipping address via Checkout then choosing your payment method.

Both saliva and blood contain our cells, which in turn, contains our DNA. Both sample types are seen to be excellent options for DNA/genetic testing - we have gone with saliva to make testing more accessible and easier to provide. Of course, as with any test, there is a small chance of sample failure, in which recollections are offered free of charge.

For most of the conditions screened for on the Eugene carrier screen, there is a >99% detection rate. Ethnicity and how common these conditions are may influence the detection rate. More information about this can be found here.

Eugene works with internationally accredited diagnostic laboratories. That means that you and your doctor can use these results to make important and informed medical choices.

While our test has approximately a 99% accuracy rate, no genetic test is ever going to be 100% precise — that’s just how the science works!

This means that, if someone is identified as not being a carrier of a condition, there is still a very small chance that they may still be a carrier. This is called the residual risk.

We send your sample collection kits within 2-business days. 

From the moment we receive your samples back, our turn-around-time is approximately 3-6 weeks.

Once your results are available, we will send you an SMS inviting you to book an online video consult with one of our genetic counsellors to discuss your results.

All Australian orders and shipped via AusPost Express Post. For information regarding your specific region’s shipping and courier services, please email us at hello@eugenelabs.com

Here at eugene, genetic diversity is at our very core and we will work with you to ensure wherever you are from or whatever community you associate with, that we cover the bases and make testing as tailored to you as possible.

For example, our Carrier Test includes everything in the 3 gene test and more. By using a wider panel we identify nearly 70% more couples who are at risk and cover conditions more common in our ethnically diverse community.

Sure, you can book a time here

Step 1 - Get your kit delivered

Order online and provide your sample in your own time

Purchase the relevant test for you and we’ll ship it straight to your address within 2 business days. Once you receive your kit(s), follow the instructions to provide your saliva sample. 

To return your kit there is an express return label included on the back of your box. Then place your sample back in the box and drop it at your local Post Office.

Step 2 - Tell us about yourself

Let’s get to know you!

It’s helpful for us to know a little bit about you to make sure our test is right for you! The majority of people that go through our proactive genetic testing simply submit their personal information, family health history and and consent to continue with our testing process. The consent is a legal requirement, and the family history information is helpful when it comes to interpreting your genetic test results.

Sometimes, however, when people provide their family history, we might get in touch to ask for some additional information. This might be because you shared with us that you, or a relative, is a carrier of, or affected by, a genetic condition. It also may be because you’re nearing the end of the first trimester in your pregnancy (congratulations!). If either of these situations apply to you, we’ll reach out to book in a chat and discuss how we can further personalise your Eugene experience. After this, we’ll be able to continue with testing as usual, and send your samples to our lab.

Rarely, we may recommend speaking to your GP or specialist before we continue your Eugene process. If this is the case we’ll reach out to you to let you know, and we will be more than happy to offer you some guidance about where to next.

Step 3- Video call for your results

Meet with our genetic counsellors from the comfort of your own home

Approximately 3-6 weeks after your sample arrives back to us, you’ll receive an SMS to book in an online result consultation with one of our genetic counsellors via Zoom. They’ll help you understand your results, and if necessary, consider your options and make choices that are right for you.

Step 4- Get your care plan

Next steps tailored to your report

Results, reports, and additional resources from your genetic counsellor are always communicated clearly and in English. If needed, we can also bridge the gap to in-person care with referrals to our hand-selected network of amazing healthcare providers. You can also request extra calls from your counsellor, or email us at any time should you have more questions down the line.

Refunds can be provided for change of mind.

As long as your samples have not been shipped to the lab, we are able to process a refund. If you would like a refund, please contact us ASAP via email, call or text at +61480 020 321 

Please note, if you have ordered our extended carrier screening test with your partner, and one of you decide not to continue with your test, we will refund the difference between individual and couple carrier screening.

My sample

To determine your genetic sequence, the genetic lab needs white blood cells that are found naturally in your saliva. These cells contain your DNA, which will be used for genetic testing. Eugene will send you a saliva sample collection kit to your allocated address. Once you receive your kit, follow the instructions inside to submit your sample.

Please keep the following in mind:

- Before providing your sample, do not drink (even water) for 30 minutes

- Collecting saliva too soon after drinking anything, including water, dilutes your saliva and reduces the amount of DNA.

- Before providing your sample, do not eat, smoke, or chew gum for 30 minutes. In addition to diluting your sample, you could be introducing non-human DNA to your sample.

- After providing your sample, make sure that the liquid saliva reaches the “Fill to” line; any bubbles should be above the line. This will ensure that enough saliva is collected.

It’s easier to collect large amounts of saliva in the mouth before spitting (rather than spitting small amounts more often). It takes most people 2 to 5 minutes to provide a saliva sample. If you’re still having trouble, try:

- Closing your mouth and wiggling your tongue

- Gently rubbing the outside of your cheeks, just behind your back teeth

- Making chewing motions with your mouthSmelling or imagining smelling sour foods such as lemons

- Thinking about your favourite food

If you’re undergoing medical treatment that reduces your white blood cell count (such as chemotherapy), it’s best to wait until your white blood cell count has returned to normal before providing a saliva sample. If you have any questions, please do reach out to our genetic counsellor team at counsellors@eugenelabs.com

For the latest Eugene labelling and registration guidelines, please log into your member portal and follow the steps.

Depending on where you are, there are different steps to returning your sample. For Australian members, you will receive a return sticker on the back of one of your inner boxes. Once you have provided your sample, please place it in the plastic bag provided and into the return-labelled box. Then, simply drop it off at your local AusPost or in a yellow AusPost box for free express return shipping. For all other members, we will be in touch with you. Alternatively, you can contact us at hello@eugenelabs.com.

My results

While knowing information about you and your family's medical health history is important, we also know that when it comes to recessive genetic conditions, most people have no family history of serious, inherited genetic conditions - so don't worry too much if you don't know everything about your medical or family history.

While Eugene genetic tests do not require a doctor referral, we are all about open and clear communication and we are always happy to send your results and action plans to your specified doctor. You will have the opportunity to add your doctor's details throughout your journey of genetic testing.

You will need to provide consent to sharing any of your private health information with anyone other than yourself, so we rely on you to include details of any members of your care team.

It is important to understand that there are limitations in genetic testing technology. No genetic test is able to translate and interpret all genetic information. A result where no variants are found does not entirely eliminate the chance of a person carrying a variant that may have personal or reproductive implications. Instead, a ‘no variants found’ or ‘negative’ result means that they have a reduced chance of carrying a variant in the tested genes. For example, in the case of an extended carrier screening result with no variants, it is still possible to have a child with a genetic condition, however, the risk is significantly reduced below the population risk statistics.

We will send you an SMS notification to let you know when your results are available, with a link to schedule a video chat call with your genetic counsellor. During this call, we discuss results, what they mean, how they may be used to inform your future health care, and how you can share these results.

Once you have had your call, we will email a copy of your reports, which you will be able to access whenever it feels right. We can also send a copy across to any doctors that might need to know of your results.

We know that your genetic results are also important to share with blood relatives and so we help you do this by creating a de-identified risk report email template that you can share with your family.

If you've had couples carrier testing, it's important that you and your partner are both available for the appointment. We have after-hours and weekend appointments available. If you are still unable to attend together, please let us know prior to the appointment so that we can reschedule.

Before making the decision to go ahead with genetic carrier screening, it is important to ask yourself the question “What will the results mean for me/us and what would I do if my partner and I were found to be carriers of the same condition?”

This would only happen to 2-3% of couples, but it’s something to think about. It isn’t something that can necessarily be answered overnight, and might take some time. We recommend that you and your partner find 15-30 minutes of no-technology, no-distraction time to discuss this important question.

Important things to remember:

- If you and your partner are both found to be carriers, there is a 1 in 4 (25%) chance that you will have an affected child.

- You have options available to you to help reduce the risk of having a child affected by one of these conditions.

- You also will be able to gain support if you choose not to test for these risks during pregnancy, knowing who can support you is equally as important.

- Your results may be important to share with other members of your family who are also family planning – this is most relevant to blood relatives like your siblings and first cousins who are also more likely to be carriers.

Genetic carrier screening is not designed to diagnose you with a genetic condition. Rather, the purpose of this test is to predict the risk of having a child with an X-linked or autosomal recessive condition based on your and your partner's result in combination.

It’s also important to remember that we share half of our genetic information with our parents, full siblings and children. It can be worthwhile thinking about if you would share your results with your family before having testing because everyone has different tolerances and preferences for learning information. You might be surprised by a family member who would prefer not to know something you feel is important to share. At other times, you may learn something about yourself or your family that you would prefer to keep private. You may find yourself having to weigh sharing such information with other family members against your own desire for privacy - or their desire not to know.

We know these conversations can be tricky, and that’s why we’ve created an email you can forward to your family to make starting that conversation a little easier. Ask your genetic counsellor how Eugene can help talk about genetic results in the family.

Most couples find out that they do not carry the same genetic conditions as their partner. About 1 in 40 people find out that they have an increased likelihood of having a child with a genetic condition. In this case, there would be a 25% chance that they could have a child affected by the condition. Having this knowledge before or early in pregnancy opens up your options.

For example, in pre-pregnancy, some couples may consider using donors or IVF technologies to conceive. If you are already pregnant, there may be the option of testing a pregnancy to see if the baby has inherited the associated genetic condition. Some couples may choose to not test before or during pregnancy, and instead use the knowledge of their carrier status to prepare for the birth of their child.

People with a genetic predisposition to cancer only account for a small number of cancer diagnoses, even if there is a family history. So, while there is an increased risk, it does not mean that you will develop cancer in your lifetime.

While this result is not a comprehensive tool to understand your relative's health in relation to cancer,we recommend thinking about sharing your result with your family so they can choose to be proactive about their health too.

During your results appointment, one of our genetic counsellors will provide personalised recommendations and avenues for support.

Genetics is only one part of the heart health puzzle. Factors such as your environment and lifestyle may reduce your risk of developing a condition. So, while there is an increased risk, it does not mean that you will develop a cardiac-related condition in your lifetime.

While this result is not a comprehensive tool to understand your relative's heart health and associated risks, we recommend thinking about sharing your result with your family so they can choose to be proactive about their health too.

During your results appointment, one of our genetic counsellors will provide personalised recommendations and avenues for support.

Shipping

We are trying to make genetic testing more accessible for everyone - no matter where in the world you might be. In saying that, we are still growing and expanding our international reach.

At this time, we service the following countries:

- Australia

- New Zealand

If you live outside of the above countries, please be in touch hello@eugenelabs.com for the possibility if we can help you with a eugene test.

Customers in Australia:

To return your saliva sample, please place your sample into the plastic biohazard bag provided and into the box with the return label. If you purchased more than one test, or are completing your test with a partner there will be one small box with a return label on it for all your samples.

If you have placed an order and live outside Australia and within the countries we ship to, we will contact you directly to let you know how to return your sample.

Our shipping times are determined by the third-party courier services we use.

For more information, please contact us at hello@eugenelabs.com.

Yes, you can! There is an option at checkout to purchase a second shipping address when ordering an individual and donor kit. Once you have done this, you can contact us at hello@eugenelabs.com to let us know your shipping details and your order number.

Sample collection kits are sent out from our Melbourne-based office on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays via Express Post. 

Once your order has left our office, you will receive a notification with your tracking details. If you have not received your kits within two weeks, please let us know.

Carrier test

How we choose what we test for:

1. All disorders are recommended by the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG), the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG).

2. Full gene sequencing with deletion and duplication analysis.

3. Actionable results; no reporting of variants of unknown significance.

4. Enhanced Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) testing to help identify silent carriers.

5. Severe and prevalent disorders seen across all ethnicities.

6. Reports can be issued for an individual and also together as a couple in a combined couple's report.

Recessive genes and X linked full list click here.

Eugene’s carrier screen is an at-home DNA test that helps you identify if you have a higher chance of having a child with a serious genetic condition. The best time to do this test is before getting pregnant or within the first trimester.

Our comprehensive carrier screening tests for over 260 genetic conditions., including common conditions like Cystic Fibrosis, Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Thalassemia, and Tay-Sachs disease.

For the full list of genes we check for click here.

Carrier screening can be done at any time. However, as with everything in pregnancy, timing is of the essence - the further along you are, the more limited your options become in the unlikely event of a high-risk result.

If you are nearing the end of your first trimester in pregnancy and would like to complete eugene’s genetic carrier screening, please reach out so that we can best support you.

In the same way that you’ve got your mum’s eyes and your dad’s nose, we’ve been passing on genes from parent to child, forever.

However, family history is not a good predictor of whether a child has an increased risk of being born with a genetic condition. In fact, 90% of babies born with a genetic condition had no family history of it!

70% of people find out that they are a carrier of a genetic condition. This has no impact on their health but could impact their children’s health. If you and your reproductive partner are both carriers of the same condition, there is a 25% chance of having a child with that condition. About 1 in 40 people find out that they have a higher chance of having a child with a genetic condition.

Having this knowledge before or early in pregnancy opens up your options to:

1. Confirm whether or not a pregnancy is affected with a diagnostic test

2. Use the latest IVF technologies to prevent passing on the genetic condition

3. Conceive naturally with the knowledge to prepare for the possible birth of a child with a genetic condition.

4. Use a donor sperm, egg or embryo.

Our system automatically recognises the person who orders a kit as a Eugene member. If you are purchasing for people other than yourself, please use their name and contact details during checkout.

When purchasing an extended carrier screening test for yourself and your donor, please choose the ‘individual+donor’.

70% of people find out they are healthy carriers of at least one genetic condition. Most of these conditions are only passed on if both biological parents carry the same condition. To give you the best chance of getting the most complete picture of your risk profile, we recommend testing you and your reproductive partner.

Here are the benefits of completing a Eugene Couple’s Carrier Screening rather than a Eugene Individual Carrier Screening.

1. Cost

It is more economical to purchase a couple’s test than two individual tests, Whilst we can provide a small discount for your partner’s test, it will end up more costly to purchase two individual orders than one couple’s test. 

2. Carrier rates

Statistics show that 70% of the individuals that we screen will come back as a carrier of at least one condition on our panel. If this is the case, it's likely that screening your reproductive partner would be the best next step.

3. Turn-around-time

Our test has a 3-6 week turnaround time, which means that if we screen you both at the same time, we should get both results back at a similar time. Testing individually could have a 12-week turnaround time or longer for both results.

Click to get started and order the kit which suits you.

If you have any specific questions about our test, you are welcome to book a free chat with one of our friendly genetic counsellors at a time that suits you. 

Heart health test

You can find the full list of conditions screened for here.

Eugene offers in partnership with Invitae a Proactive heart health test for healthy individuals who would like to be proactive about their heart health through understanding their risk of developing a cardiovascular condition.

This test can help you better understand their genetic risk of developing heart conditions and create a personalised risk report and action plan.

It’s important to know that this test cannot diagnose you with a heart condition, confirm if you have a heart condition, or tell if you will ever develop a heart condition.

If you have a family history that suggests you’d benefit from seeing a doctor or heart-health specialist, we’ll reach out and let you know prior to testing your sample.

Cancer risk test

You can find the full list of conditions screened for here.

Eugene’s proactive cancer risk test looks for inherited gene variations that increase someone’s risk of developing some of the most common types of cancer – including breast, ovarian, bowel and prostate cancer.

This test can help you better understand their genetic risk of developing certain cancers and create a personalised risk report and action plan.

This test is not targeted toward adults who are undergoing management for an active cancer diagnosis, for children, to diagnose cancer, or to confirm the presence/absence of a familial gene variant.

If you have a personal or family history that suggests you’d benefit from seeing a doctor or cancer specialist, we’ll reach out and let you know prior to testing your sample.

eugenecare+

eugenecare+ is the new subscription service that allows us to provide ongoing clinical care and support, specific to you and your family's test results. Testing panels and genetic research is always evolving and by subscribing to eugenecare+, we will provide updates on all new changes to your results while also providing you with a selection of support services from our experts, research partners and genetic counsellors.

We have two paid tiers for eugenecare+, one for individuals and one for families. You can view the benefit tiers and see what is included in each option.

We would recommend subscribing to eugenecare+ as we can provide ongoing support and clinical services over the lifetime of your results. As genetic research and testing panels are always changing, subscribing should give you peace of mind that you are receiving the best and most up-to-date information, specific to you and your family. Alternatively, you can coordinate a pay-as-you-go session with our genetic counsellors for a fee of $250 AUD. 

Contact us at hello@eugenelabs.com to learn more about eugenecare+, or to book in your pay-as-you-go appointment with one of our genetic counsellors

Yes, you can cancel your subscription at any time.

To cancel, please email us at hello@eugenelabs.com

You will receive an email shortly after subscribing which will welcome you to Eugenecare+ and provide a comprehensive summary of your benefits, inclusions and how to redeem each item. If you have any other questions regarding these, you can reach out to us at gcchatsupport@eugenelabs.com

Yes, you can speak with our customer care team via email at hello@eugenelabs.com and our specialist team will be able to answer any questions you have.