Your Risk of Chromosomal Problems in Pregnancy

The risk of having Trisomy 21, or Downs syndrome goes up as a women ages. Her risk at age 21 is 1/1667, which is lower than her risk of all chromosomal abnormalities which is 1.538. by age 49 however the risk is 1/11 Down's and 1/7 for all chromosomal problems. Those numbers average out to a risk of about 1/700 for that chromosome disorder. On average it is less likely you will have a Trisomy 18 which is 1/6000 and a trisomy 13 which is about a 1/10,000 risk. All women should consider genetic risk before getting pregnant, but those who are over age 35, who have had more than one pregnancy loss, who have a history in their family of mental retardation or genetic disorders or early neonatal deaths are at most risk for birth defects in their children and should see the gyno before planning a pregnancy.Once you are pregnant there are many new tests that can help you determine the health of the baby. These tests fortunately alleviate fears for most women. For families who become aware of chromosomal or other genetic abnormalities prenatal care can be focused differently so that you and your obstetrician are helped by the information.

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