Williams Syndrome

Living with

Can women with Williams syndrome have children?

It is possible for a woman with Williams syndrome to become pregnant and have children. There is no data suggesting that women with Williams syndrome have an increased risk for fertility problems. Because many individuals with Williams syndrome have developmental delays and/or intellectual disabilities, it is important that parents of individuals with Williams syndrome that are of reproductive age who are not intending to have children consider utilizing birth control as appropriate to prevent unintended pregnancy. This is especially important because people with Williams syndrome have a sometimes overly friendly personality and can also have impulse control problems, including sexual impulse control, which may increase their chances of being taken advantage or engaging in risky sexual behavior.

It is also important that individuals and families of individuals with Williams syndrome are aware that when a parent has Williams syndrome, each of their offspring has a 50% risk to have Williams syndrome as well. For this reason, prenatal diagnostic testing may be desired. This can be arranged through a prenatal genetic counselor. To find a genetic counselor near you, use the Find a Genetic Counselor search tool on the National Society of Genetic Counselors' website.

Depending on the medical status of a pregnant woman who has Williams syndrome, she may need to be managed or co-managed by a high risk obstetrician known as a maternal-fetal medicine physician. This is especially important if the pregnant woman has heart disease or other medical problems that may complicate her pregnancy and/or delivery.

SOURCE: Emory University - Department of Human Genetics in collaboration with ThinkGenetic • https://www.thinkgenetic.com/diseases/williams-syndrome/living-with/57275 • DATE UPDATED: 2016-06-16



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