Can You Get Pregnant if You Have Achondroplasia

This condition raises many questions, so we'll explain if it's possible to conceive if you have achondroplasia. Keep reading.
Can You Get Pregnant if You Have Achondroplasia

Last update: 16 March, 2022

You may be wondering what achondroplasia is. But most likely, you already know what it is, even if you don’t recognize the true name of this genetic disorder that can affect one in 25,000 babies around the world. Or perhaps you’ve come to this article because you have achondroplasia, and you’re wondering if you can become pregnant. In the following paragraphs, we’ll discuss this issue.

Achondroplasia, often referred to as dwarfism, can affect men and women of all ethnicities. The average height these individuals reach in adulthood doesn’t exceed 50 inches.

Although the life of a person with these characteristics may be normal, when it comes to the stage of conception, some complications may occur that must be addressed by specialists.

Regarding the chances that an achondroplastic woman has of conceiving a child, this is completely possible as long as there’s no other medical condition that puts the life of the future mother at risk.

If you have achondroplasia, the best thing to do is talk to your trusted doctor before trying to get pregnant in order to receive genetic counseling.

The hereditary factor

A doctor holding a newborn.

To understand the probability of having a child with the same condition as the mother, it’s important to explain that achondroplasia is a DNA mutation that’s produced by two fundamental factors: The hereditary load and the advanced age of a father who doesn’t have any type of achondroplasia.

When the parents are completely healthy and have an achondroplastic child, we’re talking about a spontaneous mutation whose causes haven’t been determined exactly. But scientific research suggests that these mutations without apparent causes occur in the sperm of men over 40 years of age.

A woman with achondroplasia can conceive a child, but her pregnancy is likely to be high risk. If only the mother has achondroplasia, the baby has a 50% chance of inheriting the phenotypic irregularity.

However, when both parents have achondroplasia and the homozygous child receives the genetic disorder from both, the chances of survival are very slim.

High-risk pregnancy

A pregnant woman with her hand on her very large belly.

The risk factor during pregnancy of a woman with achondroplasia is very high, so it’s crucial that you follow all medical recommendations strictly and get an idea of how to take care of yourself and your baby during this time:

As we’re talking about a delicate pregnancy, from the 12th week of gestation on, it’s important to analyze the DNA of the fetus in order to detect any irregularity.

In order to do this, amniocentesis is performed and free cells can also be studied with the baby’s DNA, which are usually present in the mother’s plasma.

Due to the special conditions in which a pregnancy can develop in a woman with achondroplasia, it’s important that she be attended by a group of specialists, including a geneticist. The evaluation of a medical geneticist must accompany the development of the pregnancy.

Achondroplasia: Pregnancy care

Obesity affects a significant percentage of women with achondroplasia, so ideally, you should be at a weight that corresponds to your small stature, and once you get pregnant, you should control how much weight you gain, as it could be harmful to you and your fetus.

In this regard, experts recommend practicing cardiovascular exercises, such as walking for 30 minutes every day. Of course, any physical activity must be approved by your doctor.

After walking, try to lie down and elevate your feet and legs with pillows or cushions, this will help activate circulation and avoid annoying cramps.

Back pain is the common denominator among pregnant women, achondroplastic or not, and with this in mind, swimming at least twice a week is recommended in order to strengthen the back and spine area.

If you have achondroplasia, you should thoroughly investigate what care and precautions you should take into account before becoming pregnant.

This isn’t impossible, but the respective medical care and the prudence with which you act together with your partner will be decisive in bringing a new life into the world.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.