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Reducing Your Risk of Chromosomal Abnormalities

  • Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Publication Type:

Condition InDepth

Reducing Your Risk of Chromosomal Abnormalities

The risk of a pregnant person having a baby with a chromosomal abnormality increases with age. People over 35 years of age are at greater risk. The risk can be lowered by:

  • Seeking medical care three months before becoming pregnant to discuss health problems and medicine use
  • Taking a daily prenatal vitamin that contains 400 micrograms of folic acid for three months before becoming pregnant
  • Eating a healthful diet that contains foods that have folic acid, such as breakfast cereals, grain products, leafy greens, oranges and orange juice, and peanuts
  • Reaching or maintaining a healthy weight
  • Avoiding smoking and drinking alcohol
  • Avoiding drugs


  • About Turner syndrome. National Genome Research Institute website. Available at: https://www.genome.gov/Genetic-Disorders/Turner-Syndrome. Accessed May 11, 2022.
  • Chromosome abnormalities fact sheet. National Human Genome Research Institute website. Available at: https://www.genome.gov/about-genomics/fact-sheets/Chromosome-Abnormalities-Fact-Sheet. Accessed May 11, 2022.
  • Down syndrome. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/down-syndrome. Accessed May 11, 2022.


  • Kari Kassir, MD
Last Updated:

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.