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Preconception Topics..

You are here : home > Preconception > Miscarriages, Abortions and Congenital Diseases > Congenital Diseases

Congenital Diseases

Congenital Diseases

Congenital diseases are nothing but birth defects and abnormalities in babies. Read on to learn more about congenital diseases.

One of the most common concerns of pregnant mothers is congenital diseases. Most of them are worried if their baby will be at risk of congenital diseases or not. Many of them take a lot of precautions to protect their babies from such disease. To avoid the risk of congenital diseases, it is necessary for couples who are planning a baby to be aware of such diseases and to know what they can do to protect their baby from such risk.

When should I be worried about congenital diseases?

Your baby has a higher chance of having congenital disease if she falls in any of the three reasons given below.  Note that there could be many other reasons for congenital diseases also.
  • Congenital diseases in the previous baby

  • History of congenital anomalies in the family which are likely to be repeated

  • Maternal age is above 35, then there is a higher chance of the baby getting Down's Syndrome

How are abnormalities in the baby detected?

Down's Syndrome (more common in women over 35) and many other genetic disorders can be diagnosed by performing an in-utero test.  The doctor will generally ask for an alphafeto-protein (AFP) test before asking the mother to undergo amniocentesis.  Once deformities in the baby have been diagnosed, the difficult decision of whether to keep the baby or terminate the pregnancy has to be made.

What tests can detect congenital diseases?

Here is the list of tests that can help to detect congenital diseases in foetuses.
  • Triple test - Serum AFP, Serum Estriol, Beta hCG - in the first trimester

  • Ultrasonography in the first trimester (around 10-12 weeks) to look for any transluscency in the neck region

  • Amniocentesis

What are the other causes of congenital diseases?

Here are some of the other factors that can be responsible for development of congenital diseases in babies.

Alcohol Consumption

Alcohol consumption during pregnancy is very risky. It can increase the risk of birth defects like brain damage, abnormalities in kidney, mental retardation, intellectual disorders, abnormalities in eyes or vision, cleft lip and palate and abnormalities of skull and face.

Exposure to Toxic Substances

Some chemical and industrial products or waste have potential to cause birth defects. Such products are known as teratogens. If pregnant mothers come in contact with such products their babies can be at risk of developing birth defects or congenital disorders. Such hazardous chemicals and products include items like mercury, lead, polychlorinated biphenyl, arsenic and cadmium, carbon monoxide, pesticides, glycol ethers, organic solvents, toluene, xylene, methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) etc.

Exposure to X-Rays and Radiations

The radiations emitted during x-rays can be hazardous for pregnant women. Such radiations have potential to cause birth defects like mental retardation, deformities in foetus and other abnormalities. Such radiations can even cause miscarriage.

Consumption of Certain Medication and Drugs

Consumption of certain medications and drugs during pregnancy can also increase the risk of birth defects or congenital diseases in the foetus. Certain medicines that are used to treat acne, sleep medications, certain antibiotics, male hormones, high dose of certain medicines, high dose of vitamin A, taking drugs like cocaine etc; can increase the risk of congenital diseases.

How to prevent congenital diseases or birth defects?

Here are some tips for preventing congenital disease or birth defects in babies.
  • Talk to your doctor before planning a baby if you have a family history of birth defects, birth defects in previous baby or you are planning a baby after the age of 35.

  • Avoid taking any medication without consulting your doctor during pregnancy.

  • If you are already on any medication and if you get pregnant, inform your doctor about it.

  • Consult your doctor if you are coping with any medical condition and are planning a baby or get pregnant with it.

  • Avoid exposure to x-rays or any other radiations.

  • Avoid coming in contact with toxins and harmful chemical as mentioned above during pregnancy.

  • Avoid smoking, taking alcoholic drinks and recreational drugs during pregnancy.
It is very necessary to take right precautions during pregnancy in order to protect the foetus from congenital diseases. Follow the above mentioned precautions for protecting your baby and for its healthy growth and development.

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Congenital Diseases
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jenna.7 years ago
i had to terminate my pregnancy after tests detected the abnormalities in the baby. i know it was a very tough decision but at that moment i think it was the right decision for both myself and my baby.
Prags.7 years ago
this is a good article dealing with detection of abnormalities in the foetus. with more couples planning pregnancy in their mid thirties, detecting the abnormalities has become a necessity. the decision to keep the baby or terminate the pregnancy can be easily taken.
derex.7 years ago
i am 40yrs old and have been trying to conceive since last 3 years. i am 1 month pregnant now. though everything seems fine, i am worried about complications. which tests is the best and safest for detecting abnormalities in the developing baby. at what time should the tests be done. please help me so that i can enjoy motherhood
Sheela.9 years ago
hi i already have two kids and all of a sudden i doscover that i am pregnant for the third time. at first i am nervous and think of abrtion ... then my husband says e wants to keep the baby so i also decide that it will be nice to have three kids ... and these days that is considered a large family considering some of my friends are having just one child. then recently a very unfortunate thing happened. in my 12th week when i went to the doctor, she told me that the baby had stopped growing after 6 weeks. so i went threough a surgery to clean up after a miscarriage. but i cannot tell you how depressed i feel about the miscarriage. i keep wondering how life would have been with three kids ... and i hold myself responsible. it seems god almost heard me when i was thinking that i did not want to keep the third. i am already past 39 and don't really want to plan a baby ... becasue it is a high risk age. i sometimes wish i had been more careful then maybe i would not have miscarried. do any of you feel the same way?
Tim.9 years ago
each of the children you have is precious and wonderful, and each of the children other parents have is wonderful, and each of the people in the world, who were all someone's children, is wonderful, too. you have two children of your own to love, and 6,500,000,000 other people to love also. so do your best to love us all, and each of us will benefit from your love, just as do your own two children. best wishes!
sheela.9 years ago
yes i know how u feel.i also because pregnant after i had my tubes tied . but i lost it at 11/2 months pregnant . i do want another one .
kim.9 years ago
well i dont have any children and i wasnt ever pregnant or had an abortion but i was just wondering about what happend to the fetiss' involved in the abortions? i was just wondering because i am writing a speech on abortion and i needed more facts and i was wondering if anyone knew (please dont give me false imformation.)
Mohini.9 years ago
i had 4 miscarriages in the months of 2,4,3 & recently in 19th weeks. the doctors are telling that it may be because of some allergy, the reason for which is not known. but some days back i came to know that if minus sign is there in hsg test then we have to take some rubella (exactly not known)injection to make it + and then can try for pregnancy. is it true ? will i be able to deliver a healthy baby after taking this injection ? please advise.
shantae roberts.9 years ago
i 2 was messin wit a boy named breon who i told i migth be pregant and he told his mom and she told him to tel me to drink vinger is that even good to my health i don't want to lose my child over sumin like dis and plus i wanted the babe im only 15 and i have always wanted a babe butwas dis to much i wonder and i cry every single nigth wonderin if i was ever pregant wit his babe in the first place
Rosa Martin.9 years ago
i have 2 kids a boy and a girl we are a lovely family of 4...but then to my suprise i was prepnant after 15 years, at first everything was okay but then i got scared because a week after i started to bleed so my docter told me i had a miscarriged, and as most people i also was very depressed and what hurt me the most was that my kids and my husband wanted me to have the baby.
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