Can an ancestry website determine your risk for inheritable genetic diseases?
The team at Dallas IVF heard someone ask this intriguing question, and we started wondering if popular websites and search tools could do more than just tell you the names of your ancestors. Can these sources also reveal details about your ethnic background and whether your children could be at risk for certain inheritable genetic diseases?
Before you log on to trace your genealogy, read more about preconception testing and an upcoming genetic testing event at our Dallas fertility center on Thursday, Nov. 3, 2016.
Some ethnic backgrounds are more likely to have inheritable genetic diseases
The physicians at our Dallas fertility center want to stress that inheritable genetic diseases run in families. While most disorders can be found in any ethnic group, some are more common among people of certain ethnic backgrounds. For example, Tay-Sachs disease is more common among people of Jewish descent, while sickle cell anemia is more common among African Americans.
However, we are becoming a global society, with most of the population having shared ethnicities.
Genetic screening is the best way to protect your future children
Many people don’t realize that they can pass inheritable genetic diseases to their children. This is why the reproductive endocrinologists at our Dallas fertility center (and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) recommend preconception genetic testing to all patients before they get pregnant. Our physicians may also recommend preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) as part of an IVF cycle.
Although genetic screening is the most accurate way to determine whether you carry an inheritable genetic disease, ancestry websites could provide some eye-opening information about your ethnic background and your risk for passing certain disorders.