Teratogens and pregnancy. Teratogens in Pregnancy Can Cause Birth Defects 2022-11-08
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A teratogen is a substance or agent that can cause birth defects in a developing fetus. During pregnancy, a woman's body undergoes numerous changes to support the growth and development of the fetus. However, certain substances and agents, called teratogens, can interfere with this process and cause harm to the developing fetus.
There are several types of teratogens that can cause birth defects, including infections, medications, drugs, radiation, and environmental toxins. Infections such as rubella, syphilis, and cytomegalovirus can all cause birth defects if a woman contracts them during pregnancy. Some medications, such as isotretinoin (a treatment for acne) and valproic acid (used to treat epilepsy), can also cause birth defects if taken during pregnancy.
Illegal drugs such as cocaine and methamphetamines can also cause birth defects, as can alcohol and tobacco. Exposure to radiation, such as that from x-rays or nuclear accidents, can also cause birth defects. Environmental toxins, such as pesticides and lead, can also be harmful to a developing fetus.
It is important for women to be aware of the potential risks of teratogens during pregnancy and to take steps to avoid them. This may include avoiding certain medications, avoiding exposure to toxins and radiation, and getting vaccinated against certain infections. Women should also discuss any concerns about teratogens with their healthcare provider.
While it is not always possible to completely avoid teratogens, taking steps to minimize exposure can help reduce the risk of birth defects. It is also important for women to receive proper prenatal care, which can help identify any potential problems early on and allow for timely interventions.
In conclusion, teratogens are substances or agents that can cause birth defects in a developing fetus. It is important for women to be aware of the potential risks of teratogens during pregnancy and to take steps to minimize exposure. Proper prenatal care is also important in helping to identify and address any potential problems.
Teratogens: Effects, Types, Risks & Prevention
HIV HIV, of course, is the virus that causes AIDS. What is a teratogen and why is it dangerous? For example, if your baby has an irregular heartbeat, medication can be administered in order to treat your child. What keeps teratogens from reaching the fetus? Healthcare providers weigh the pros and cons of prescription drug use to determine what poses less risk to the pregnancy. Tobacco Exposure to tobacco is, of course, common through smoking cigarettes or otherwise ingesting tobacco or being the recipient of second hand smoke 10% of U. The common defects include holoprosencephaly failure of the forebrain to divide into hemispheres , meroencephaly partial absence of the brain , sacral agenesis, vertebral defects, congenital heart defects, and limb defects or vascular disruption. One of the most severe effects of drinking during pregnancy is fetal alcohol syndrome FAS. Exposure to mercury might happen around broken thermometers, dental fillings, broken florescent light bulbs and eating fish that have high levels of mercury especially swordfish, shark, king mackerel and tilefish.
Teratogens: Types, Exposure, Prevalence, and Prevention
Every parent knows that the easiest place to acquire an illness is in a day care center or school, so avoid these locales as much as possible. Avoid swordfish and sharks. Teratogens are drugs, chemicals, or even infections that can cause abnormal fetal development. Thalidomide was given mostly in the late fifties as a medication to control the nausea it was removed from the market in 1961. They have been linked to congenital malformation in the baby. Hadley, Janet Waterhose, and William S. Syphilis Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease caused by a bacterium.
Teratogens cause many known congenital disorders. What are teratogens in pregnancy? The United States Food and Drug Administration FDA created five categories to classify the risks of medications during pregnancy. If one is destroyed, another can acquire its function. Among the most common teratogenic infections are rubella, syphilis, toxoplasmosis, chickenpox, or listeriosis. For women, it is better to avoid using all medicines during the first trimester unless there are serious medical reasons for using them. Development of the embryo is most easily disrupted when the tissues and organs are forming see Fig. CT-scans provide a high dose of radiation and should be avoided by pregnant women.
For example, How is medication rated for safety during pregnancy? An exposed fetus has increased risk for developing a cleft palate, developing heart defects, having small heads, abnormalities in the fingers and nails, and some mild developmental disabilities. The word Teratogen, in Greek, means "monster forming". Syphilis is relatively easy to cure in adults. Teratogens and Birth Defects Prevention While not all birth defects can be prevented or avoided, there are certain measures you can take in order to help prevent certain birth defects in certain situations. At the beginning of the 19th century, Journal für anatomische Varietäten, feinere und pathologische Anatomie Journal of Anatomical Varieties, Finer and Pathological Anatomy. You may also receive a targeted ultrasound evaluation to determine whether the fetus has been affected in some way. Chemical agents Chemical agents like alcohol and smoking are some of the most preventable causes of birth defects or disabilities.
When Are Teratogens Most Harmful During Pregnancy?
Only a few drugs were positively involved as human teratogenic agents, but new agents continue to be identified. While there is an effective vaccination for this disease, unvaccinated pregnant women need to be very careful, as rubella presents serious complications for the fetus, including stillbirth, mental retardation, vision and hearing problems, and more. When are teratogens the most harmful to my baby? There are times throughout the development of an embryo when the organ systems that are still in the process of developing are at their most vulnerable to teratogens. A pregnant person may become infected after drinking contaminated water, consuming contaminated meat, or touching infected cat feces. The fetus is also at increased risk of developing heart defects and being born at a low birthrate. The most critical period in development is when cell differentiation and morphogenesis are at their peak. Infections and viruses Infections, viruses, parasites and other bacterial illnesses can pose serious threats to a pregnant person and the fetus.
While helpful, the category system oversimplifies a very complicated subject. People had sought explanations for abnormal human and animal development, however, for centuries, and they had developed different theories about the causes for the abnormalities. This is because toxic exposures during this time usually result in the death of the embryo, and if the embryo survives, they have no long-term effects even if they cause the embryo to develop abnormally. When in doubt about the safety of a substance, call your healthcare provider. During this organogenetic period fourth to eighth weeks , teratogenic agents may induce major birth defects. Embryologic timetables, such as the one in Fig.
Depending on the genetics of the pregnant person and their baby, exposures can cause varying levels of abnormalities. A teratogen must be able to cross the placenta to affect the baby. The chances of a harmful exposure during the first trimester of pregnancy causing substantial birth abnormalities are significantly increased. Physiological defects — for example, small morphological defects of the outer ear — and functional disorders, such as a restriction of mental development, may be the result of developmental disorders during the fetal period. Of course, the impact also depends on the level of exposure. Salmon and tuna should be consumed sparingly.
It considers many other factors and puts data in a better context for providers. Isidore Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, a physician from Paris, France, defined it in 1832 in Histoire générale et particuliére des anomalies de l'organisation chez l'homme et les animaux General and Particular History of Structural Monstrosities in Man and Animals. At this point, the teratogen damages all or most of the cells, which leads to the death of the embryo, or damages only a few cells, allowing the conceptus to recover, and the embryo to develop without birth defects. Treasure Island, FL: StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. If the pregnant person suffers from thyroid disorders, that may also affect a baby's development during pregnancy. Exposure can occur when drinking well water that is contaminated with arsenic, living near or working at an industrial incinerator that burns waste containing arsenic, or living near or working at industrial metal smelters. The Effects of Nicotine on Development.