Every pregnant woman worries about having a baby born with medical problems, whether they be physical or mental. To help eliminate at least one worry off your mind, you can find out the chances of Down syndrome occurring in your baby based on your age by using our Down Syndrome Risk calculator.
Down syndrome is a genetic condition that is also called Trisomy 21. A trisomy is a condition wherein a baby inherits an extra copy of a particular chromosome giving him or her 3 copies of the chromosome instead of just the usual 2. Down syndrome occurs when a person has an extra chromosome 21. In every 800 babies that are born, there is 1 that is affected with Down syndrome.
What are the Down Syndrome risk factors? The most common is maternal age. The older a woman gets, the higher the risk of Down syndrome. This is because improper chromosome division is more likely to occur in older eggs. Another risk factor of Down syndrome is already having a child with the same condition. The last factor is if one of the parents is carrying the genetic translocation for Down syndrome. This means that one of the parents has a chromosome that has an extra chromosome 21 attached to it. Carrying the genetic translocation for Down syndrome doesn’t mean that signs of the condition manifests in the parent.
When using our Down Syndrome Risk calculator, the chances of Down syndrome affecting your baby is shown as a ratio. If you’re 30 years old, the calculator will give you a risk ratio of 1 in 940. This means that there is 1 chance out of 940 or a 0.1% chance that your baby will be affected. By 40 years of age, the risk of Down syndrome occurring increases to 1%.
It is important to know that though there is no cure for Down syndrome, there are treatments and support available. Many will need medical attention for the accompanying health problems such as hearing and sight problems. Learning disabilities are also present though these have varying degrees, often mild to moderate. But with support and appropriate treatment, many who are affected live healthy and relatively normal lives.