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Causes of Birth Defects

Birth defects can occur during any stage of pregnancy. Most birth defects occur in the first 3 months of pregnancy, when the organs of the baby are forming. This is a very important stage of development. However, some birth defects occur later in pregnancy. During the last six months of pregnancy, the tissues and organs continue to grow and develop.

For some birth defects, like fetal alcohol syndrome, we know the cause. But for most birth defects, we don’t know what causes them. For most birth defects, we think they are caused by a complex mix of factors. These factors include our genes (information inherited from our parents), our behaviors, and things in the environment. But, we don’t fully understand how these factors might work together to cause birth defects.

While we still have more work to do, we have learned a lot about birth defects through past research. For example, some things might increase the chances of having a baby with a birth defect,

such as:

  • Smoking, drinking alcohol, or taking certain “street” drugs during pregnancy.
  • Having certain medical conditions, such as being obese or having uncontrolled diabetes before and during pregnancy.
  • Taking certain medications, such as isotretinoin (a drug used to treat severe acne).
  • Having someone in your family with a birth defect. To learn more about your risk of having a baby with a birth defect, you can talk with a clinical geneticist or a genetic counselor.
  • Being an older mother, typically over the age of 34 years.

Having one or more of these risks doesn’t mean you’ll have a pregnancy affected by a birth defect. Also, women can have a baby born with a birth defect even when they don’t have any of these risks. It is important to talk to your doctor about what you can do to lower your risk.

Genetic and Environmental causes of birth defects

 

 

Types of Birth Defects Research and Tracking of Birth Defects
Diagnosis of Birth Defects Prevention of Birth Defects
  Why are Birth Defects a concern

 

 

 


 

References:

http://www.healthline.com/health/birth-defects#Overview1

http://www.parents.com/baby/health/birth-defects/birth-defects-symptoms-treatments/

http://kidshealth.org/en/parents/birth-defects.html

http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/birthdefects/facts.html

http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/birthdefects/prevention.html

http://www.cdc.gov/pregnancy/infections.html

http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/birthdefects/diagnosis.html

http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/birthdefects/research.html

http://www.medicinenet.com/birth_defects/article.htm

https://childrensnational.org/choose-childrens/conditions-and-treatments/genetic-disorders-and-birth-defects/birth-defects


Disclaimer:

Doctoryouneed is committed to provide you with the most relevant and current information.
This material does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients, or recommend therapy and not a substitute for any medical advice. Always consult with your health professional  for medical advice and your doctor or pharmacist before taking any prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs, supplements and over-the-counter drugs.

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