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UH-OH??
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UH-OH??

I may be pregnant by my first cousin. Like my mothers brothers son. what could happen to my baby because of this
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1227139_tn?1367231533
Hello Scared_alone91,

I wanted to share with you a lengthy post I put out regarding consanguinity.  (Relationships between relatives).  It isn't as terrible as you might think, and in many parts of the world, (today and in the past) consanguinity is commonly practised with the belief that it makes blood lines stronger.

This message that I am posting for you is rather deep, and is in two parts because it is lengthy.  I hope that you will find the information useful, and if you need any help in deciphering it, please feel free to message me directly.  I am the Community Leader for Genetics, and a few other Forums here in MedHelp.  See below the stars for the posts:
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I hope that my message will give you some clarity.  On the surface the immediate and short answer is there should not be any problem in terms of bloodlines, since that would make their relation second cousins.  However, if there are any known genetic issues, there would be a small percentage of both having the same genetic issue and therefore if they were to have children, it would be passed on.

Read my post here and see if any of this relates to you:

Here is a fact sheet (Centre for Genetics Education) I have used often to educate others who have the same questions as you do regarding blood relatives:

Important points

    * Consanguinity describes a relationship between two people who share a common ancestor: a 'shared blood' relationship
    * The most common form of a consanguineous relationship or marriage is between first cousins and in some societies, can account for a large proportion of relationships
    * Traditionally, some cultures have practised and continue to practise marriage between relatives such as cousins as a means of strengthening family ties and retaining property within the family
    * We all carry several harmful faulty gene copies on our chromosomes but have a working copy on the other partner chromosome to provide the information for our bodies
    * Usually two unrelated people will not carry the same faulty gene copy
          o Children of unrelated parents are at low risk of inheriting from each of their parents a copy of the same faulty gene that could result in a genetic condition
          o They have a risk of between 2% and 3% (2 to 3 out of every 100 births) of having a child with a birth defect or disability, many of which will be genetic
    * People who are blood relatives share a greater proportion of the same genes than unrelated people do because they have a common ancestor such as a grandparent from whom they inherited their genes through their parents
    * The closer the biological relationship is between relatives, the more likely that they will have the same faulty gene in common
    * Children of parents who are blood relatives generally have a small increased risk over that of unrelated parents of inheriting from each of their parents a copy of the same faulty gene that could result in a genetic condition
          o For example, if parents are first cousins, the risk is a little higher (about twice) ie. 5% to 6% (5 to 6 out of every 100 births). Looked at another way, where parents are first cousins, there is about a 95 chance out of 100 (95%) that they will have a baby unaffected by a condition due to the parents' faulty genes
          o The chances of having a baby with a problem would be higher, and parents more likely to share the same faulty gene copy, if their parents and/or grandparents are also close blood relatives
    * In most families where the parents are close blood relatives, there will be no history of a specific condition and there are no tests that can usefully be carried out to see if the baby is at risk for being affected by a particular genetic condition
    * Where there is a family history, or where the parents' ancestry suggests their risk for having a faulty gene for a condition is increased eg. thalassaemia, genetic testing may be possible to determine if the parents are carriers of the same faulty gene
    * It is important for couples who are close blood relatives and thinking about becoming parents, to seek genetic counselling to obtain current information and explore their reproductive options.

'Consanguinity' comes from two Latin words: con meaning shared and sanguis that means blood. Consanguinity describes a relationship between two people who share a common ancestor: a 'shared blood' relationship; for example, a relationship between two cousins.

The most common form of a consanguineous relationship or marriage is between first cousins and in some societies, can account for a large proportion of relationships.

Traditionally, some cultures have practised and continue to practise marriage between relatives such as cousins as a means of strengthening family ties and retaining property within the family.

Genes and families

The cells of the body contain the genes or set of instructions for the cell to make all the necessary proteins (chemicals) for our bodies to grow and work normally.

If a gene is changed so that it does not work properly, the gene is described as being faulty (i.e. there is a gene mutation present). The result is that either a protein is produced that is faulty, produced in limited quantity or is not produced at all.

Genes come in pairs: one copy of each gene inherited from the mother and one copy from the father. Since there are two copies of the genes in the cells, a change in one of the gene copies that could be potentially harmful will generally have no direct effect on an individual's health: the working gene copy will usually override the faulty copy of the gene. These changes are called 'recessive' (or hidden) to the working copy and the individual is said to carry the faulty gene.

Carrying a single faulty gene copy does not usually cause a problem. But if an individual has two copies of the same faulty gene containing a recessive mutation, the cell will not receive the right instructions to enable normal function and may result in the individual having a genetic condition.

Importantly, everyone carries several faulty gene copies without having any impact on their health or development.

There are thousands of possibly harmful faulty gene copies but usually two unrelated people will not carry the same faulty gene copy.

* Children of unrelated parents are at low risk of inheriting from each of their parents a copy of the same faulty gene that could result in a genetic condition
    * They have a risk of between 2% and 3% (2 to 3 out of every 100 births) of having a child with a birth defect or disability, some of which will be genetic

While everyone usually has the same number and type of genes, there are small differences in the genetic information between individuals that make us unique. Since our genetic information is passed down to us from our parents and grandparents and so on, family members will have more similarities in their genetic information than differences.
Continued in next comment below....
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1227139_tn?1367231533
Continued from my comment above....

    * People who are blood relatives share a greater proportion of the same genes than unrelated people do because they have a common ancestor such as a grandparent from whom they inherited their genes through their parents
    * Children of parents who are blood relatives generally have a small increased risk over that of unrelated parents of inheriting from each of their parents a copy of the same faulty gene that could result in a genetic condition
    * For example, if parents are first cousins, the risk is a little higher (about twice) ie. 5% to 6% (5 to 6 out of every 100 births). Looked at another way, where parents are first cousins, there is about a 95 chance out of 100 (95%) that they will have a baby unaffected by a condition due to the parents' faulty genes

For:  First cousins, half-uncles and aunts and half-nephews and nieces
The degree of relationship is: Third degree relatives (30)
Proportion of genes they have in common:  Eighth (1/8, 12.5%)
What is the risk for having children with a problem when parents are close blood relatives?

It is not true that those having a child with a blood relative have a very high chance that their children will have birth defects or a disabling condition.

Where the parents have no family history of a specific condition and their parents and perhaps grandparents are not blood relatives:

    * If parents are unrelated, their risk for having a child with a birth defect or disability is between 2% and 3% (2 to 3 out of every 100 births)
    * If parents are first cousins, the risk is a little higher (about twice) ie. 5% to 6% (5 to 6 out of every 100 births). Looked at another way, where parents are first cousins, there is about a 95 chance out of 100 (95%) that they will have a baby unaffected by a condition due to the parents' faulty genes

In general, parents being close relatives has no effect on the number of babies born with genetic conditions that are due to a faulty gene on the X chromosome or a faulty gene that is 'dominant' to the working copy of the gene.

It seems likely, however, that when parents are close relatives there will be some increased risk for a child inheriting conditions that are due to a number of different genes acting together (polygenic) or where there is an interaction between genes and the environment such as spina bifida and some forms of congenital heart disease.

Unfortunately, what this increased risk actually is for parents in their individual situation is difficult to calculate.

A cautionary note

In societies with a tradition of first cousin marriage, many couples are often more closely related than first cousins are and consequently their risk may be significantly higher.

    * The risk is much higher than 5% to 6% when both the parents of the first cousin couple - and their grandparents - are also blood relatives
    * The actual risk that parents in this situation have needs to be worked out for each family during genetic counselling

I know this is a lot of information, but I hope that it helps.  You can apply whatever relates to you.
In addition to anything I have mentioned, please keep in mind, that while I or others may have extensive knowledge in many areas, you should always seek professional medical advice from your own physician, as it pertains to medical conditions or concerns.

Good luck, and if you have any other questions that I can help you with, please feel free to message me directly.

Sincerely,
Sandi (Dragon1973)
MedHelp Genetics Community Leader;
Children - Special Needs Community Leader;
Down syndrome Community Leader & Ds Group Forum Founder/Moderator
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Avatar_n_tn
thank you so much for all of the information
Im not really freaking out so much about what could happen to my baby. But Im still worried about my family and what they will think of us. Its bad enough that I am 16 and pregnant, but the icing on the cake is that its my cousins baby
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1227139_tn?1367231533
Hi there,

Aww Honey I am sorry that you are having to deal with so much (especially at your age).  You know, I have met lots of great parents who were pregnant at a young age, and unfortunately many more who weren't.  I think, perhaps in the beginning, your family may be unhappy with the situation, more so because of your age, and maybe also because of the cousin relationship.  But, hopefully you will receive the right support after all the dust has settled.  

Just remember, your family's anger or frustration will most likely be a result of them wanting what is best for you, (or rather, them had wanting what was the best for you) and their frustration would be from the fact that they may "feel" that they failed you in some way - not that the necessarily have.  It seems to me that you are an intelligent girl, and that you have a good head on your shoulders.  You can probably imagine that they will be upset as you mention, but you also probably can understand why.  If at first they don't seem to be supportive, give them time to adjust - remember, finding out yourself must have been a shock, so to them it will also be a shock.  The best thing you can do to ease the stress or gap (if there is any with the shock) is to prove to them that you will remain mature, and while you are scared (and anyone who finds themselves pregnant at 16 should very well be) you will tackle this situation with the utmost maturity and perhaps explain to them that you know you will have a lot of growing to do as the time nears.  Every expectant mom has a lot of transitioning to do, and even at your age, you are no different.  The only thing is, you have other things that are stressful for you to deal with as well, like school, finances and your partners decision to remain in yours and your child's life.  So many additional worries that other Mom's may not have to face during this transition.  So if you are able to show your family that you are capable of dealing with these things, even if you need their help, it may help them to adjust better to your situation then not at all.

I hope that you find support and that your partner is willing to help you through this.  If you need to chat, please know that I am available at any time.

Just remember, that everyone (not just you and your cousin) will need time to let this all sink in.  And it is hard for you, but it is hard for them too.  Just be prepared to accept their position, what ever it is, knowing that everyone is entitled to an opinion, even if at the time, it doesn't seem to help you at the moment.  I hope that you all will be able to come together, so that ultimately your baby has support from everyone who matters.

If for some reason you find that your family is not supportive, please let me know.  There are lots of good resources that I can hopefully help to pass on to you, but most importantly, please make sure you take care of yourself, as your baby's life depends on how well you take care of yourself.  Make sure you are getting adequate prenatal care and that you are seeing your doctor for your prenatal care.  It is extremely important to make sure that you are monitored during your pregnancy to ensure your health as well as your baby's.

In addition to anything I have mentioned, please keep in mind, that while I or others may have extensive knowledge in many areas, you should always seek professional medical advice from your own physician, as it pertains to medical conditions or concerns.

Good luck, and if you have any other questions that I can help you with, please feel free to message me directly.

Sincerely,
Sandi (Dragon1973)
MedHelp Genetics Community Leader;
Children - Special Needs Community Leader;
Down syndrome Community Leader & Ds Group Forum Founder/Moderator
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