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Inherited Disorders and Birth Defects

Balanced Translocation Inheritance

03/24/2009

Question:

I, the husband, have balance translocation in two chromosome in 90 persent of cells. This is from my mother. What is possiblity to have a baby without above translocation? Please help.

Answer:

Yes you can have a baby that does not have the translocation that you have.

The chance of having sperm that has the unbalanced translocation vs. the normal or balanced rearrangement depends on how the chromosomes line up, divide and separate – that is how the chromosomes divide into two daughter cells. In theory, there is a 25% chance that the gametes (eggs or sperm) that the mom or dad produces – will have a normal chromosome complement, a 25% chance that the egg or sperm will have the balanced translocation and a 50% chance that the egg or sperm would produce an unbalanced chromosome complement. Usually the eggs or sperm that produce an unbalanced complement are miscarried because they are not viable – not able to produce a live born child.

In reality however, the chances of having a baby with an unbalanced translocation (these pregnancies are usually miscarried) or having a baby that inherits the translocation appears to be much less than the numbers above. Because men produce millions of sperm, sperm that carry the translocation often are not the sperm that fertilize an egg.

If you have not already done so, you may want to talk to a genetic counselor or geneticist and talk about your risks based on the specific translocation that you have. The National Society of Genetic Counselors resource link can help you locate a genetics center near you.

Related Resources:

National Society of Genetic Counselors Resource Center

For more information:

Go to the Inherited Disorders and Birth Defects health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Anne   Matthews, RN, PhD Anne Matthews, RN, PhD
Associate Professor of Genetics
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University