Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"If I have permanent brain damage, could it affect children I may have in the future?"

ZocdocAnswersIf I have permanent brain damage, could it affect children I may have in the future?


I am a male, and was hit by a car at a young age, causing permanent brain damage, and just wondered if i could have children, and when i do have children if my condition could affect them at all, or cause any birth defects or anything?


I encourage you to discuss this with your primary care doctor. Your ability to have children depends on whether you are able to have sexual intercourse with ejaculation, and whether you are able to make sperm. You should be able to do both these things if you don't have any damage to your peripheral nerves and didn't have any injury to your testicles or to your genitalia. Assuming you are able to ejaculate and make sperm, you should be able to conceive normal children. The injuries that we sustain once we are born does not affect our DNA, which is built into us and cannot be changed by most outside forces. To put it more clearly, an accident can affect the shape of your body and how well certain parts of it works, but it does not affect the cells that it is made of, and it is this molecular material that gets passed on to your children and helps determine how they will grow. The exception to this statement are things that can affect our DNA. An important example of this is radiation; people who get radiation treatment for conditions such as cancer can have permanent changes to their genetic makeup that can then affect their ability to have children. Assuming you have not undergone radiation treatment or therapy with any toxic chemotherapies, you should be able to have perfectly normal children. If you have any further questions about this or feel my answer is unclear, I would encourage you to speak with your primary care doctor, since she will know your history and can more clearly address your question.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.