Teratogens and Their Effects on Fetus Development

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Every woman when pregnant has a 3-5% chance of having a baby born with a birth defect, and these chances increase when the developing fetus/ embryos are exposed to teratogens, whether it’s intentional or unintentional (Bethesda (MD), 2006). Teratogens can cause severe birth defects, malformations, or terminate the pregnancy altogether (Jancárková, & Gregor, 2000). The placenta is known as an effective barrier from any detrimental pathogen that can potentially hurt the fetus. The timing of exposure of any teratogen is critical to the impact of prenatal development (Bethesda (MD), 2006). The most vulnerable time of the fetus for severe damage is during early pregnancy when all the major organ and central nervous system (CNS) are developing. Miscarriages have an important role in keeping a pregnancy from evolving when there is something serious going on with the developing fetus/embryo. Miscarriages are more common than we think and are the most familiar type of pregnancy loss (Bethesda (MD), 2006). Additionally, the reason miscarriages are under recorded at times is because they occur before the woman even knows she is pregnant, so they may be confused as a late period. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), 10-25% of all clinically recognized pregnancies will end in miscarriage. What is referred to as a “chemical pregnancy” also falls in this category, which accounts for 50-75% of all miscarriages. Moreover, chemical pregnancies are given this term because they are pregnancies that end very soon after a positive test result. Imagine taking a pregnancy test one day and having a faint positive result and testing again a few days later and getting a negative result. This is an extremely early misc... ... middle of paper ... ...ull N Y Acad Med. Mar-Apr;66 (2):123-63. Chambers, C. D., Polifka, J. E., & Friedman, J. M. (2008). Drug safety in pregnant women and their babies: ignorance not bliss. Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics, 83(1), 181-183. Ford-Jones, E. L., & Kellner, J. D. (1995). " CHEAP TORCHES": An acronym for congenital and perinatal infections. The Pediatric infectious disease journal, 14(7), 638-639. Huizink, A. C., Robles de Medina, P. G., Mulder, E. J., Visser, G. H., & Buitelaar, J. K. (2003). Stress during pregnancy is associated with developmental outcome in infancy. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 44(6), 810-818. Jancárková, N., & Gregor, V. (2000). [Teratogens during pregnancy]. Ceska gynekologie/Ceska lekarska spolecnost J. Ev. Purkyne, 65(3), 188-194. Kuczkowski, K. M. (2009). Caffeine in pregnancy. Archives of gynecology and obstetrics, 280(5), 695-698.

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