Where there is a family history of a muscle-wasting condition, you may have a number of concerns when considering having children. The potential problems may be different for men and women, and depending on the type of condition, its inheritance pattern and how much is known about its genetic causes.

In the case of a pregnancy, if one or both parents are ‘carriers’ of a particular muscle-wasting condition, there can be a risk that their unborn child will be affected by that condition.

‘Prenatal tests’ are carried out during pregnancy to try to find out if the foetus (unborn child) is affected. The tests are only available for some muscle-wasting conditions.

As a couple, you may want this information for two reasons:

  • to consider whether or not to continue the pregnancy if the foetus is affected, or
  • to continue with the pregnancy armed with the information to prepare and plan for the future.

These factsheets will help to answer some questions you may have. For any other questions, contact your local genetic counselling centre.


Keep in touch