Medical Genetics: Teratogens
What is a teratogen?
Some viruses and bacteria
Certain health conditions, such as uncontrolled diabetes
The riskiest times of pregnancy
Experts believe that teratogens can begin affecting a baby growing in the womb about 10 to14 days after conception. Conception is when a woman’s egg is fertilized by a man’s sperm. After conception, it takes about 6 to 9 days for the egg to implant in the uterus. Once the fertilized egg is attached to the uterus, the mother and the embryo share a blood supply. Chemicals in the mother’s blood can then affect the growing baby.
As a baby grows in the womb, teratogens may affect parts of the baby’s body as they are forming. For example, the neural tube closes in in the first 3 to 5 weeks of the pregnancy. During this time, teratogens can cause neural tube defects such as spina bifida. Some organs are sensitive to teratogens during the whole pregnancy. This includes the baby’s brain and spinal cord. Alcohol affects the brain and spinal cord, so it can cause harm at any time during pregnancy. This is why you should not drink alcohol if you are pregnant.
How are teratogens known?
Researchers have two ways of finding out if a substance is a teratogen. They are:
Animal studies. Animal studies are the main way to find out if a medicine or other substance is safe during human pregnancy.
Observations from human exposure. This means reports over time of problems about a substance.
What are nonteratogenic agents?
Certain things have been shown to not to cause birth defects. These are called nonteratogenic agents. These include:
Spermicides. These are chemicals that kill sperm to prevent pregnancy. These chemicals are found in products for birth control, such as gels, creams, and foams, and on some condoms. Studies have shown no link with the use of spermicides and any increased chance for birth defects.
Acetaminophen. This is a common ingredient in some pain medicines. There has been no link between birth defects and taking acetaminophen at the advised dose during pregnancy.
Prenatal vitamins. Prenatal vitamins are prescribed to pregnant women to help meet the extra nutritional needs of pregnancy. When used at the recommended dose, they don’t increase the risk for birth defects. But don’t take any extra vitamins, minerals, or herbal supplements without talking with your healthcare provider. Extra amounts may be harmful.
Microwave ovens. Microwave ovens use nonionizing radiation. This type of radiation is not teratogenic. Microwaving food while pregnant is not known to increase the risk for birth defects or health problems.
Talking with your healthcare provider
If you’re pregnant, talk with your healthcare provider about things to avoid during pregnancy that may cause birth defects. He or she can help answer your questions and help you have a safe pregnancy.
1351Baby shower guest sign in ideas
1607Girl baby shower favors ideas
2533Boy baby shower decorations ideas
1791TOP 10 Girl baby shower themes ideas for 2017
600Baby shower fruit tray ideas
3923Baby shower snack ideas pinterest
1909Purchase The Special Twin Baby Shower Cakes From Your Local Stores
4291High tea baby shower ideas – 10 ways to have a High tea baby shower party!
4319Baby shower afternoon tea ideas
2553TOP 10 Baby girl baby shower food ideas
2463Baby shower ideas pinterest boy
4315Baby shower centerpieces ideas pictures – 10 methods to brighten your baby shower party
554Welcoming a Baby Angel in Style with the Best Baby shower souvenir ideas
218710 Useful Triplet baby shower ideas for you!
2041Planning a Baby shower program ideas – detailed guide
3165Baby shower charades ideas
4327Baby shower onesie ideas – 10 secrets to know
2137Bumble bee themed baby shower ideas – 10 tips for good party!
2089Baby shower easy food ideas
2379Baby shower game prize ideas winners
984Unique baby shower invitation ideas
3593Candyland themed baby shower ideas
4119Baby shower decorating ideas for girls
3205Baby shower refreshment ideas
3087Baby shower goodies ideas
3975101 baby shower ideas
2921Unique baby shower gifts ideas
1118Amazing baby shower ideas
3953Twin baby shower game ideas
1114Baby shower favor ideas for boys
278Twins baby shower ideas
2147Baby girl shower cupcake ideas
3279Good ideas for a baby shower
1024Baby shower favor ideas to make
4139Baby shower ideas sydney
1979Pinterest baby shower ideas for girl