Each of us has a few genes that don’t work correctly due to small changes (mutations) within them. Most times, these mutations do not affect our health and we don’t even know we have them. If you have a gene mutation, there is a 50/50 random chance that you will pass it to each of your kids. Many mutations won’t impact your kids’ health, either — unless they inherit a second mutation in the other copy of the gene from their other parent.
Certain family health patterns can be signs of genetic diseases. Genetic experts are medical professionals trained to look for these signs and help you understand how your genetic health could impact kids that you have. In addition, people from some regions of the world and some ethnic groups have an increased risk of carrying gene mutations. Genetic experts can talk to you about your family health history, ethnicity and ancestry and how these all influence your risk for genetic disease. Even if you talk to a genetic expert now, you can still talk with one later if your situation or your family needs change.