Author Topic: Are there any health complications if i marry my cousin???  (Read 2092 times)

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Offline mahesh_2386

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Hi,
       I would like to ask one question as i heard this news from many. I am going to marry my cousin (My mother's elder brother daughter) and she is 22 years old and i am 25 years old. I have heard that there will be health complications/issues like polio or any other diseases for our kids if we get marry. I would like to know is there any scientific reason behind this or is this a blind faith that we have even in current computer world? Can any one please let me know is there any instances like this and more over, our blood groups are different. Please help me in this regard.

Regards,
Mahesh

Offline ColoradoMarried

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Re: Are there any health complications if i marry my cousin???
« Reply #1 on: Jun 11, 2011, 11:41 PM »

Most of what you hear from well-meaining relatives is based on old wive's tales or gross distortions of "science" that once masqueraded under the banner of "Eugenics".  While they mean well and often have very strong feelings on the subject, they know little to nothing about it.

Polio is an infectious disease that a susceptible person can get after birth from another carrier through non-sexual contact; no blood relation is required or even indicated as a factor because it is an infectious disease rather than a genetic disorder.  Children in the US and Europe are vaccinated against Polio shortly after birth, lending to the disease's near eradication in developed nations.


If your bride-to-be has rH negative blood and you have rH positive blood, there is a medicine (given by injection) that she will need to take whenever she is pregnant.  This is true whether or not you are related.  In the case of my wife and myself, we are both rH negative.  The doctors wanted to giver her the shot because, from their perspective, there is no way they can be "certain" that the father is also rH negative (meaning that from the doctor's point of view, the father doesn't necessarily have to be who the mother claims or even believes him to be).  Of course, she declined and we have two perfectly healthy teen daughters.


As for any other potential issues, you need to look to see if you have any common genetic problems in your family background. Again, this would be something you should do even if you are not related.  I recommend you bring up such issues to your family doctor before you have children and if you're really concerned, get genetic counseling from a Geneticist.


The truth is that in most cases of first-cousin marriage, the rates of "birth defects" is rare - only about 1.4-2.8% higher than the population at large as a risk factor.  Unless your families have a habit of repeated generations of cousin marriage (basically two families that intermarry repeatedly through several generations spanning over 100 years), I wouldn't worry too much about it beyond what I mentioned above.  If, however, you are part of the English Pakistani population or the American FLDS, you may want to give some very serious thought to that genetic counseling before having children.


Best wishes,


CM

Offline mahesh_2386

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Re: Are there any health complications if i marry my cousin???
« Reply #2 on: Jun 12, 2011, 11:48 AM »
Thank you very much CM for giving useful information. So just confirm me one thing.. Now i don't need to bother about those statements regarding health complications of i marry my cousin. I didn't too much worried about those statements but i have taken serious when my cousin's brother raised same. My mom is very much interested in this relation with my cousin so i want to clear all these before and of course, i also liked her. Because in Indian families that too in south Indian states like Andhra Pradesh which is my state, these things will be considered very seriously. So just wanted to put here to get suggestions/help when i got this website while browsing net. Thanks for your reply and suggest me on this again.

Regards,
Mahesh
« Last Edit: Jun 12, 2011, 12:27 PM by mahesh_2386 »

Offline mahesh_2386

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Re: Are there any health complications if i marry my cousin???
« Reply #3 on: Jun 14, 2011, 06:15 AM »
Hey Guys,
                      Can I expect more suggestions/help/advices?
Regards,
Mahesh

Offline Hawk

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Re: Are there any health complications if i marry my cousin???
« Reply #4 on: Jun 14, 2011, 06:26 PM »
mahesh_2386,
 If I understand India correctly, in the south of India, cousin marriage is permitted. Even so, I would assume it is still not the norm. That being said, I will also assume there is not a history of marriages among cousins in your family. If that is so, and there are no genetic problems in your families, even on the sides not shared, (Your Father, her Mother) you should be fine. If however, there is a problem, even on the "other" sides, it could be an issue, even if you were not cousins. Since you want advice, I would say if you two love each other, do what you must to be together. If you do get together, and decide to have a child, I would encourage you to see a genetic counselor. I may get slammed here, and it wouldn't be the first time, but have you considered not having children? I don't have any, and neither does DW, and we are perfectly happy with our life together. Also, as young as you are, I wouldn't be in the biggest rush anyhow. She has several years she can wait before that becomes a potential problem for a child. 

Offline almazan.fava

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Re: Are there any health complications if i marry my cousin???
« Reply #5 on: Jun 16, 2011, 08:41 AM »


If you've taken the time to read the general info on this site, you'd learn that anyone you marry - whether be it your cousin or some stranger - there is always a risk.

I'm a caregiver and I've been assigned to children's wards where I've seen cases of children WHOSE PARENTS ARE NOT RELATED BY BLOOD/GENETIC MAKEUP (capital letters for emphasis) bearing handicaps like cerebral palsy, autism, etc.
    Rarely are there kids from cousin couples who bear physical and/or mental defects.

Case in point: here in the Philippines, one well-known cousin couple, the Arroyos, bore a beautiful daughter with no genetic defects.

Whereas, one Filipino celebrity, Kris Aquino bore a child from a guy - who is not related by blood - but that child is suffering from autism diagnosed a few months from birth.

If you bother too much about genetics, then better not marry.

What matters is that you love the person - and love is all about surmounting the odds you'll face once you're together for life.

I've met a lot of people who claim to love the other person but they're really hiding selfish reasons for doing so (sex, money, fame - any worldly reason). What's sad with those kind of people is that, once the other person can't offer anymore of what he/she wanted from the person from the start, they part ways. The greater tragedy is that if they part when they have kids already...

Well, I've given you my thoughts - it's your choice...