Genetics & pregnancy! How do you pass along genes to your future baby?
Planning for a baby after 30s has become the new normal. Are you too on the bandwagon?
Well! With age come the increased chances of passing along genetic risks to your future baby. That could pose the danger of birth disorders or certain serious diseases on your baby’s health.
“Know your genes before you conceive”, says our experienced geneticists & your gynecologist will recommend the same too.
If you’re planning to get pregnant after your 30s, then you must give deliberation to prenatal genetic healthcare along with routine checkups.
Let’s dig deeper to understand how genes & pregnancy are interrelated.
Genes, pregnancy & genetic inheritance
When a couple is planning to get pregnant, they pass along two sets of genes to their future offspring; one from the mother & one from the father. The sperm & the egg (two sets of DNA which include chromosomes & genes) combine to form a new mixture that is the unique genome of the baby.
The genes transmitted by the parents attribute traits such as eye color, hair, and blood type to the offspring. While if, by any chance, either of the parents passes along any unusual genes (mutation), that leads to exposing the baby to the risks of genetic conditions or birth disorders.
What does it mean to be a genetic carrier?
A genetic mutation is any unusual change in the genes of either or both the parents. Even if a parent might look or feel healthy, if he/she has a genetic mutation and transmits it to their child, there are high risks of passing along genetic conditions. When a woman crosses her desired fertility age of 25-30 years, she is more prone to be the carrier of genetic mutation.
Gene changes in human cells
Every human has two types of cells.
The sperm and egg cells are known as ‘germ’ cells. Every other cell in the body is ‘somatic’ (cells related to the body).
If a change in a person’s genes occurs in the somatic cells, they might experience the condition related to that change but won’t transmit it to their children.
If any change in the genes happens in the germ cells, that person’s future baby has a high chance of inheriting the altered gene. And for women like you, who are entering into family planning after 30 years, the risks of mutation in the germ cell are slightly higher.
How & when do genetic conditions arise?
Genetic conditions arise in the future baby due to any unusual changes i.e., the genetic mutation in either or both parents. Scientists estimate that more than 10,000 conditions are caused by changes in single genes.
A baby can inherit genetic conditions in three different ways
How can you plan for a healthy pregnancy then?
Prenatal genetic healthcare is the way forward to healthy family planning.
It helps to understand your genetic history, inheritance, and wiser ways to avoid the risks of genetic conditions. A genetic counsellor can help you know all about your genes & support you emotionally too. A counsellor is a qualified professional in genetics & counselling. They can help you identify any genetic risks early and make informed choices even before conception.
You can always find a trusted prenatal genetic healthcare partner with us at trugeny. Our goal is to lead you towards a safe and healthy pregnancy & a risk-free family planning. You can schedule a tele-genetics counselling session with one of our counsellor. Once he/she does a detailed analysis of your genes, taking the forward steps to a healthy pregnancy becomes easier for you. If need be, the counsellor will suggest you take a prenatal genetic carrier screening test to ascertain that you might not be the carrier of genetic mutation to your baby.
Rest assured, it’s completely safe & non-invasive. Also, throughout your prenatal genetic care, we remain in constant touch with your ob/gync to share your genetic testing reports with them.
If you’re up to it, it’s the right time to talk to a genetic counselling expert.