Down syndrome is a genetic condition, but there are certainly ways on how you can alleviate the problem. Knowing the risks can also prevent the occurrence even to some degree. Find out how the process works and what parents can actually contribute to their children. Here are the characteristics and ways to stay ahead of the pack.
A number of parents have a higher chance of producing babies with Down syndrome. Included in the risk factors is advancing maternal age. Chromosomes divide improperly more over time as a woman continues to produce eggs and these eggs age. The chances of giving birth to a baby with Down syndrome actually increase with age. Those below 25 years old have a chance of 1:1400. At age 30, the risk is at 1:1000. At age 35, the chances grow to 1:385. At 40, the risk increases more at 1:106. By 45, almost 1 in every 30 births results to Down syndrome.
Women who have already given birth to a child with Down syndrome also has about 1% chance of giving birth to another who also has the same condition. Parents that are carriers of the genetic translocation for Down syndrome can also pass the problem to their children more, compared to parents who do not have the translocation.
Women at 36 years of age have a chance of giving birth to a Down syndrome patient 1 out of every 300 births. At age 37, the chances increase to 1 out of every 230 births. At 38 years old, the risk increases to 1 out of every 180 births. At 39 years old, about 1 in every 135 births results to a Down syndrome bay. At 46, 1 out of every 20 births results to a Down syndrome baby. At 48 years old, 1 out of every 16 births is abnormal. At 49 years old, the chances heighten to 1 in every 12 births.
Experts then recommend women to undergo prenatal screening and other diagnostic tests to detect Down syndrome, if they become pregnant at 35 years old or later.
What Doctors Say
Women who get pregnant at 35 years old or later are actually asked a series of questions by doctors, such as whether there is a presence of birth defects in the family or if any member has Down syndrome particularly. The age actually presents the risk, as well as the fact of its existence in the family. The doctor most likely refers to the age-related risk of chromosomal abnormalities.
Confirming the Risk
If there are some risks found from the patient’s medical history, doctors will most likely recommend some diagnostic tests, such as chorionic villus sampling. This done at 11 to 12 weeks of pregnancy by specialists with a lot of experience. The process involves putting a small catheter into the cervix where the placenta is bound to form and grow. Some tissue is removed and processed in the lab for analysis.
Amniocentesis is also done at 15 to 16 weeks of pregnancy by obstetricians. The process involves inserting a needle through the abdomen and into the fluid that surrounds the baby. The result is also sent to the lab for analysis. Results from chorionic villus sampling are more available compared to those from amniocentesis. These are the 2 basic tests