Down’s Syndrome and Pregnancy
Down’s syndrome is a disorder that occurs when you are born with an additional chromosome from the mother. You get this chromosome from either the mother or the father, as a result of a defect in the egg or sperm. This defect doesn’t happen due to anything that anyone did prior to or during the pregnancy. It is caused by the extra chromosome that came from somewhere else. This is also known as Down’s Syndrome and the condition has a range of different names.
In the United States, Down’s Syndrome is known as syndromes. The Mayo Clinic and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists refer to it as Szeliotis syndrome. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists calls it Altered Genes Syndrome. People that have Down’s Syndrome can be at a higher risk for certain kinds of cancers. These include colon, breast cancer, cervical cancer, and ovarian cancer.
When there is an extra X chromosome in the mother’s womb, it can cause an X-linked syndrome or monosomy 21. Down’s Syndrome is sometimes referred to as trisomy 21. Trisomy 21 is when one chromosome is missing from one of the pairs of chromosomes. Down’s Syndrome occurs in one out of every eleven males. This does not include all of those with Down’s Syndrome however.
When a child with Down’s Syndrome is born, they will have a variety of physical characteristics. Some of these are: shorter stature, decreased vision, heart problems, and slow growth. Because Down’s Syndrome has such a variety of physical characteristics, the medical community has developed specific terms for describing different combinations of chromosomes. The syndrome may also have specific learning disability associated with it.
In most cases, females carry an additional chromosome 21q. This chromosome is carried only by females and is responsible for the formation of the sex organs in both sexes. Because Down’s Syndrome has this extra copy of chromosome 21, it has been linked to a number of diseases that affect development, including cancer. When a woman is carrying an additional chromosome, she can potentially be affected by certain types of cancer. In Down’s Syndrome, an extra copy of chromosome 21 is found in most females. Since trisomy 21 is present in males as well, the tendency is for females to also have Down’s Syndrome than males.
It is possible for a person to have Down’s Syndrome, and not have any of the additional chromosomes carried by females. A person with Down’s Syndrome can still be born with two non-maternal chromosomes. These two chromosomes are called x and y. If a person has only one of the non-maternal chromosomes, that person may still be born with Down’s Syndrome, but it will be very rare. Individuals who have only one of the non-maternal chromosomes will only have one copy of chromosome 21, while individuals who have two non-maternal chromosomes will have two copies of chromosome 21.
In addition to trisomy 21, some individuals have Turner’s Syndrome or Williams Syndrome. Individuals with Turner’s Syndrome have an imbalance of chromosome 21. Those with Williams Syndrome will have an extra copy of chromosome 21. While these conditions are more common than Down’s Syndrome, they still do exist.
There are a number of other conditions that can lead to individuals having Down’s Syndrome. Because Down’s Syndrome is caused by an error in the makeup of the DNA when an individual is developing in the womb, it can lead to a variety of physical and mental disabilities. Some of these disabilities can last throughout a person’s lifetime, while others will only last during that time.
Those individuals who have Down’s Syndrome usually have a variety of physical problems as well. Typically, individuals with Down’s Syndrome have a shorter lifespan than their peers. In addition, individuals with Down’s Syndrome usually experience physical growth delays during their childhood years and into their teenage years. Most of these delays are due to the fact that the extra chromosome that is responsible for the development of Down’s Syndrome does not fully develop until a woman reaches the age of twenty-five. Men with the syndrome usually have normal physical growth during their childhood and adolescent years.
As of the moment, researchers do not know what causes Down’s Syndrome, although some believe it has to do with heredity. Others believe it to be the result of an extra chromosome developing at the same time in the mother’s womb during her pregnancy. Women who carry an X or Y chromosome usually do not have problems with conceiving, so it is believed that only the additional X or Y chromosome is responsible for Down’s Syndrome.
Because Down’s Syndrome is linked with a number of disabilities, it could be prevented by taking certain precautions before conception. Women with Down’s Syndrome should not smoke, use drugs, or be under any stress. Pregnant women with Down’s Syndrome must also wear low-heeled shoes. Screening tests can determine if a woman is at risk of having Down’s Syndrome. Women may be asked to go through an evaluation session with a patient coordinator to determine the likely severity of her Down’s Syndrome. Screening tests may include blood tests and imaging studies such as x-rays, magnetic resonance images, and Chorionic villi biopsy.
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