Skip to Content
Home > Wellness > Health Library > Genetic Disorders
Genetic disorders are diseases that can be passed from parents to
children. Some disorders may be inherited if only one parent has the abnormal gene,
while others can be inherited only if both parents have the abnormal gene.
If one or both parents have a defective gene or have a genetic
condition, the risk of passing the disorder on to a child is the same with each
pregnancy. Having one healthy or one affected child doesn't change the odds
that future children will or will not be affected.
If the baby's mother or father or anyone in either of their
families has a genetic condition, genetic counseling may help the family decide
what type of prenatal testing they want.
Genetic disorders that may be inherited include:
A small number of disorders occur because of a one-time mistake in a single
gene (new mutation), such as a change in a gene of one of the parents' egg or
sperm cells or because of a change in a gene of the fetus. These one-time genetic changes are unlikely to happen again in future pregnancies.
Current as of:
February 20, 2015
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Siobhan M. Dolan, MD, MPH - Reproductive Genetics
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.
To learn more, visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2015 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.