What is the likelihood of having a second child with Down syndrome?

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Daniel R. Spogen, MD
Family Medicine
The likelihood of having a second child with Down syndrome is 1 in 100. The risk is higher if the mother is over 40.
Once a woman has given birth to a baby with trisomy 21 (nondisjunction) or translocation -- two of the three types of Down syndrome -- it is estimated that her chances of having another baby with trisomy 21 is one in 100 up until age 40.

The risk of recurrence of translocation is about three percent if the father is the carrier and 10 to 15 percent if the mother is the carrier. Genetic counseling can determine the origin of translocation.

This content originally appeared on the National Down Syndrome Society website.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.