Family Planning for Those With a Genetic Disorder: Essential Advice
- By: Alexis Hall
- Posted: Oct 10th, 2022
Image from Unsplash
If you are a carrier of a genetic disorder, you may be wondering how to best plan for your family. There may be a lot on your mind - from the safety and health of your potential offspring to practical concerns and testing requirements. If so, keep reading, as US Family Guide shares advice and helpful resources for those planning a family when carrying genes for a genetic disorder. Let’s get into it.
Start With a Carrier Test
Carrier testing is the best way to determine if you are a carrier of a genetic disorder. Carrier testing can be done through blood tests, which is the most popular way of testing for genetic anomalies - thus, it is usually done when you are thinking about starting a family or if you have a family history of a genetic disorder. Other ways to test are through a saliva test or a skin biopsy. Carrier testing is the best way to give you concrete answers that will determine certain steps or actions you will need to take down the line.
Consult With Medical Professionals
According to MedlinePlus, if you are a carrier of a genetic disorder, you have a 50% chance of passing the infection on to your child. Thus, if you plan to start a family, be sure to consider genetic counseling for more guidance. Talking to medical professionals about your concerns will help you make a better-informed decision. They can guide you through the different medical steps you may take or the potential ramifications of starting a family. In addition, they will be able to give you medical advice on the best kinds of tests, medications, and strategies you may have to undergo to make your dream a reality.
Prenatal and Natal Diagnoses
If you are a carrier of a genetic disorder, consider having a prenatal diagnosis. Prenatal diagnosis is a way to test for congenital disease before a baby is born. This can be made through a blood test, amniocentesis, or chorionic villus sampling (CVS). After giving birth, you can also get a newborn screening, as this is a way to test for a genetic disorder soon after a baby is born. Check out this article by March of Dimes to learn more about newborn screening and how to use it to learn more about potential genetic conditions.
Financial and Housing Preparation
After doing your research and getting the go-ahead from your doctor, it will be time to take tangible steps toward starting a family. One of the most significant measures you can take is to ensure you’re financially comfortable with a stable and steady monthly income. An emergency fund will be a convenient strategy to ensure you have more than enough for unexpected circumstances such as high medical bills or other associated costs. You may also want to move to a larger home to ensure you have enough space for your new family. When shopping around for a new home, be sure to research different areas - a great way to do this is through online listings. These can give you information on home sizes, prices, and neighborhood amenities you’re considering. You may also want to consider taking out a mortgage - be sure to research this and familiarize yourself with various options, like taking out a conventional, FHA, or VA loan.
Family planning is an essential step for those who may be carriers of a genetic disorder. However, consulting with medical professionals and researching the effects of your condition as you expand your family will be the way to go in navigating the process with clarity. After you get the go-ahead, it will be time to undertake exciting steps like financial planning and buying a bigger home in preparation for your family!
Be sure to check out US Family Guides for more informational resources and content.