Trisomy 13, also known as Patau syndrome, is a genetic condition caused by an extra chromosome 13. Babies with trisomy 13 generally have many complex medical complications, including heart defects, brain and spinal cord abnormalities, very small or poorly developed eyes, cleft lip and/or cleft palate, and low muscle tone (hypotonia).
Because of the severity of medical complications associated with trisomy 13, more than 80% of babies do not survive past the first month of life. Children with trisomy 13 that survive infancy have severe developmental and intellectual disabilities, and may have an increased risk for certain types of cancer.
Finding out your pregnancy has trisomy 13 can be very difficult. Determining what to do next can be even more challenging. Some people who know that their pregnancy has trisomy 13 would choose to carry the pregnancy to term, and use the information to be prepared for the baby’s arrival. Others would choose to terminate a pregnancy that has many significant medical complications.
There is no right or wrong answer; only the answer that is right for you and your family. GSF aims to provide you with the information you need to make that difficult decision, and are here to support you in any way that we can.
Find more information about trisomy 13 at the Support Organization for Trisomies 18, 13, and related disorders (SOFT) on their web site.
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