Slide show: How genetic disorders are inherited
Illustration of X-linked recessive inheritance with affected father
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A man with an X-linked recessive disorder will pass his unaffected Y chromosome to his sons, and none will be affected. He will pass his X chromosome (with the gene mutation) to his daughters, and all will be carriers of the disease. Their health is rarely affected, but these daughters may pass the mutated gene down to their children.

If you know — or suspect — that you or your partner has a family history of any genetic disorder, a genetic counselor can help assess your risk of having a child with that disorder. This counselor can also help you decide whether or not to have genetic testing. He or she can also explain treatments, preventive measures and reproductive options.

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