Health Library

Reducing Your Risk of Chromosomal Abnormalities

The risk of a pregnant person having a baby with a chromosomal abnormality increases with age. People over 35 years of age are at greater risk. The risk can be lowered by:

  • Seeking medical care three months before becoming pregnant to discuss health problems and medicine use
  • Taking a daily prenatal vitamin that contains 400 micrograms of folic acid for three months before becoming pregnant
  • Eating a healthful diet that contains foods that have folic acid, such as breakfast cereals, grain products, leafy greens, oranges and orange juice, and peanuts
  • Reaching or maintaining a healthy weight
  • Avoiding smoking and drinking alcohol
  • Avoiding drugs

References

About Turner syndrome. National Genome Research Institute website. Available at: https://www.genome.gov/Genetic-Disorders/Turner-Syndrome. Accessed May 11, 2022.

Chromosome abnormalities fact sheet. National Human Genome Research Institute website. Available at: https://www.genome.gov/about-genomics/fact-sheets/Chromosome-Abnormalities-Fact-Sheet. Accessed May 11, 2022.

Down syndrome. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/down-syndrome. Accessed May 11, 2022.