Skip Navigation LinksHome Page    >    Consanguinity
Pregnancy links...
Health links...
Genetics links...
Medical links...
Autism links...
Other links...


What exactly is the information you need to find out?

If you and your husband/wife are related, it is important that you find out exactly what the relationship is between you and whether there are any diseases or developmental problems within the extended family.

Why is it significant if you are related?

Family members share a common gene pool. This leads to an increased risk that people who are related will carry the same defective gene. If two such people marry (a situation known as a consanguineous marriage) and each transmits the defective gene to the infant - who thereby receives two copies of the same defective gene - this may result in the child's suffering from a severe genetic disease. This type of inheritance is known as autosomal recessive inheritance. It can occur even if the parents are unaware that they both carry the gene, since everybody carries 1 - 3 abnormal genes. However, these are only expressed if his/her partner also carries the same abnormal gene (out of a total of 70,000 genes). This, of course, is a relatively low risk in the general population, but in consanguineous marriages, the risk is higher. The risk decreases when the parents are not first-degree relatives.

It is important to note that parents who are not related may also be at risk of having an infant with a hereditary disease of this kind, but for these marriages (non-consanguineous), the risk is much lower.

Healthy parents who are unrelated have an estimated chance of 2 - 4% of having a child with a genetic disease, developmental problem or congenital defect.

In contrast, in consanguineous marriages the risk is 5 - 7%, depending on the degree of the relationship between the parents and their ethnicity.

If in addition to the marriage being consanguineous there is a known genetic disease in the family, the risk that such a couple will have an infant with a similar genetic disease may be very high.

Therefore the risk must be determined during genetic counseling.

Parents who are related have no increased risk for chromosome disorders in their fetus. The consideration for performing amniocentesis is therefore the same as that of a regular pregnancy.

In consanguineous marriages, it is very important to carry out genetic screening tests for recessive diseases such as thalassemia, Tay Sachs disease, cystic fibrosis, etc., and in certain ethnic groups, also for Canavan disease, Gaucher disease, etc.

In all cases of consanguineous marriages, genetic counseling should be offered. This is especially important if, in addition to the partners' consanguinity, there are known diseases in the extended families or if a problem arises in pregnancy screening tests.
Haven't found what you're looking for? Search for it here:   
Comments (6)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011 10:45 AM
(1) ranjit  says:

wants information

my blood group is A+ n my wife is O+ or O- i m married to my uncle's daughter ie my mother's brother' daughter plz help me wid some suggestions for the pregnancy

Tuesday, October 18, 2011 3:22 PM
(2) Virendra  says:

Genetic Counseling

It seems that in cosanguieous marriages ( CM ) the lay public is not aware of the Risks involved .There should be more awareness in the Public,& this can only be achieved if the Leaders take part in Educating the Public.Untill then the fallout of CM will continue i.e Heart Disease,Mental Retardation,Deafness,Perinatal Mortatlity Blindness,Still Births, Miscarriages & Severe Defects of Heart, Kidney & Liver

Saturday, March 3, 2012 1:47 AM
(3) roudaon  says:


Thanks for People are bound to find this really important. Wow is all I can say. Thanks again.

Sunday, April 1, 2012 9:45 AM
(4) Dr.shanmugasunda  says:

cosanguinity birth defects

What are the birth defects oh first cousins

Thursday, December 6, 2012 7:34 AM
(5) eberion  says:


One more problem is with.I am this issue might be curable.Thank you related to giving this glorious written content

Monday, March 9, 2015 12:33 AM
(6) ASHLYN  says:

pay someone to write my paper

I cannot seem to get anything going on this particular topic and time is running out fast. You know a lot about good writing and I think you would be best placed to refer me to a good writer.

Leave a Comment
Email (will not be published)
Website (optional)
Your Comment

Line and paragraph breaks are automatic. Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title="">, <b>, <i>, <strike>

Please type the characters you see in the picture:

All content Copyright © 2009-2011, Genetics of Pregnancy Encyclopedia Corporation. All rights reserved.