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Genetic disorders and the decision not to have children

By Dann Alexander 

One of the reasons why some people may choose not to have children might seem more understanding to society. It is the possibility of passing on medical conditions which have genetic pre-dispositions.

How often have you been to a medical professional and had the question of family medical history asked? A person may be very pre-disposed to a particular illness. No matter the type of illness, that person may fear passing on that illness to a child. Some conditions that may be very physically debilitating can be passed on to children at a high rate.

For me personally, it certainly has been one of the many reasons for my decision not to have children. With my family history, I have been told that I am susceptible to a few potential concerns in physical and mental health. My time spent at the hospital emergency room as a kid and the children’s hospital an hour and a half away from my hometown, was quite a bit. Not as much as children with more serious illnesses, but there was still lots of time. Seeing the stress in my parents’ eyes was something I thought of even at a young age. It made me think that I did not want to have the same worries they did. I have been very fortunate to have been treated by mostly competent health professionals.

Even if you decide against having children, you may still find yourself ending up pre-disposed to other illnesses inherited from family as you get older. My Dad’s Father had Pancreatitis in his later years and was thankfully able to pull through it. Unfortunately, complications as a result of the same illness took my Dad’s life in December of 2013. All I have been told is to keep living as healthy a life as I can. Thankfully I already do. Any changes just keep making it better. Living well and being healthy is the best way to minimize my pre-disposition to the same illness.

If you are a “fence sitter” contemplating having children and are concerned about passing on potential illnesses, it is very important that you consult with your physician. Just working through a quick online search will not provide you with the definitive answers you may need. Only qualified medical professionals can provide you with accurate information you might need.

If you do not have children, was this one of the reasons why you decided against being a parent? Feel free to share your story in the comment section

Based just outside of Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada, Dann Alexander is the Author of Planned UnParenthood – Creating a Life Without Procreating which is available at Amazon and other online retailers. Twitter @WriterDann

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