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Downs Syndrome Risk?

I am 35 and would like to have another child within the next two years. During this past pregnancy, I broke my ankle. I had multiple X-rays, and due to other complications, a CT scan and a VQ scan (another radioactive test). I know that the chance for Downs increases after age 35, mainly because of all the radiation we as humans are exposed to over time, but do you think my chances are higher than most because of all of this radiation I endured during my first pregnancy? I guess if the X-rays and scans raised my chances significantly higher, then I don't think I would try for another child, because I don't think I have it in me to have an abortion. I don't want my son to be an only child (nothing against only children - I am one myself) but I don't know if I could handle getting the news of Downs Syndrome or raising a child with special needs. It would rip my heart out and my nerves would fry me.

FYI - I do plan to run this by my OB/GYN next time I see her, but it isn't for a while. Just wondering if anyone knows about or has any thoughts on this.


Asked by Anonymous at 8:52 PM on Dec. 12, 2010 in General Parenting

This question is closed.
Answers (8)
  • Ok the only reason the chances go up, is a numbers game. The amount of women having babies later is lowere than those having them younger, so naturally the number goes up. In reality, a younger woman has better odds of having a child with downs than you do. I had my first at 19. I had my last 2 at age 39 and again at 40. They are both fine! Good luck.

    Answer by salexander at 12:20 PM on Dec. 13, 2010

  • I really don't know what kind of risks the radiation from the xrays, etc produce.

    During my second pregnancy I needed xrays for what turned out to be a severely sprained ankle. My 3rd pregnancy I broke my wrist and I was 36. The doctors never said anything about the xrays raising the chance for chromosonal damage and the increase in a chance for a baby with Downs.

    As for a special needs child, there are all sorts of special needs. They range from the relatively mild speech delay, to medical conditions and children who will never be "normal" or be able to be on their own. There are no tests for all of them, nor are the current tests any guarantee of what will be.

    I have a child who has genetic epilepsy. Nothing we could have predicted even with testing. We plod along, take it day by day and do what we need to do. And that is exactly what you would do if you were to have a child with special needs.

    Answer by balagan_imma at 9:01 PM on Dec. 12, 2010

  • Radiation during pregnancy cannot cause Down Syndrome. It is due to an abnormal development of the egg before fertilization that results in an extra chromosome in the egg that was fertilized. It is not a radiation-induced phenomenon.

    You can check out that site for more info. Hope it helps!

    Answer by TARARENEE at 9:10 PM on Dec. 12, 2010

  • My friend had a down syndrome child her first pregnancy at the age of nineteen. She has had threre more kids since then. Her last was at age 44 and all other kids were normal. Downs is around but its not as common as it may seem.

    Answer by Musicmom80 at 9:26 PM on Dec. 12, 2010

  • Yes, I know that if I had a special needs child I would love him/her and take the best care of him/her that I could, but I am saying if I know ahead of time that I have a much higher risk, I might just not get pregnant again.

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 9:03 PM on Dec. 12, 2010

  • Thanks, I know this. I know that if I am already pregnant, that radiation won't change anything. I was referring to a future pregnancy. And I already said that I know a woman's risk is higher after 35. I want to know if the risk is significantly higher after all the scans I mentioned. (It isn't just medical radiation that causes the degradation of eggs and chromosomes... it is environmental radiation as well.)

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 9:14 PM on Dec. 12, 2010

  • Never thought of it that way, salexander.

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 9:06 PM on Dec. 14, 2010

  • Your chances increase as you go past 35 because the quality of your eggs goes down hill. Even women that have never had any medical radiation exposure have the chance of having babies with Down Syndrome after the age of 35.

    Answer by twinsplus2more at 9:10 PM on Dec. 12, 2010