Genetics is the study of the patterns of inheritance - how traits and characteristics are passed from parents to their children.
Chromosome abnormalities usually happen as a result of an error in cell division.
A "birth defect" is a health problem or physical change that is present in a baby at the time he/she is born.
Many women today are waiting until later in life to have children. In the United States, birth rates for women in their 30s are at the highest levels in three decades.
A person can have normal chromosomes in number and structure, but still have a disease or condition caused by a mutation in one or more of the genes on the chromosomes.
Genetic diseases are classified by type: chromosomal abnormalities, single gene defects, problems caused by exposure to certain substances, or a combination of these.
A family history of certain diseases or disorders or certain factors affecting the pregnancy itself may be reasons to visit a genetic counselor.
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