Effects Of Effects On Prenatal Development

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The term teratogen refers to any environmental agent that causes damage during the prenatal period (Berk, 2014). Teratogens can cause harmful effects on a fetus during prenatal development depending on factors like dose, heredity, age, and other negative influences. There are many environmental influences, such as prescription and nonprescription drugs, illegal drugs, tobacco, and alcohol that affect prenatal development. A discovery between drugs and prenatal development was first learned in the early 1960s. A sedative, thalidomide, was being taken by mothers anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks after conception. It was learned that thalidomide caused deformities of the embryo’s arms and legs, and damage to the ears, heart, kidneys, and genitals. When children were exposed to thalidomide during pregnancy, many score below average on intelligence tests. Thoughts conclude that the drug could have damaged the central nervous system of the child directly. Also, diethylstilbestrol (DES) which is considered a synthetic hormone, was prescribed to women to prevent miscarriages during pregnancy. When the children of the mothers’ who took DES reached young adulthood, it was noticed that they showed high rates of cancer of the vagina, malformations of the uterus, and infertiltiy. Their pregnancies resulted in more premature babies and miscarriages compared to non-DES-exposed women. Men showed an increased risk of genital abnormalities and cancer of the testes. (Berk, 2014). One of the most widely used teratogens is Accutane, which is a vitamin A derivative prescribed to treat severe acne. Many women of childbearing age have taken this. Exposure during the first trimester results in eye, ear, skull, brain, heart, and immune system abnormalities... ... middle of paper ... ...from poor judgement. For example, he would buy something and not wait for change or would wander off in the middle of a task. He died at age 23, after being hit by a car. (Berk, 2014). Women who are trying to get pregnant or who are pregnant should avoid drinking alcohol completely. The environmental factors previously stated, prescription and nonprescription drugs, illegal drugs, tobacco, and alcohol are detrimental to the health of the fetus. It is crucial that women who are planning to get pregnant or who are pregnant are taking precautions to their health not only for themselves, but for the child as well. Living a healthy lifestyle, including healthy eating and daily moderate exercise are great habits for a woman of childbearing age to get into. It not only helps reduce prenatal risks during pregnancy, but keeps the soon to be mother healthy while pregnant.
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