Birth defects affect a baby's physical or mental development. They range from minor to severe and may be caused by problems during pregnancy or genetically inherited from a parent's chromosomes. Screening tests can help assess the risk.
Topic: Birth defect conditions
The causes of ambiguous genitalia include genetic variations, hormonal imbalances and malformations of the fetal tissues that are supposed to evolve into genitals.
Folic acid taken before conception, and during at least the first four weeks of pregnancy, can prevent around seven out of 10 cases of neural tube defects.
Too much amniotic fluid surrounding the baby during pregnancy (polyhydramnios) may indicate the presence of defects of the digestive tract.
Some congenital heart defects are mild and cause no significant disturbance to the way the heart functions.
During fetal development, the diaphragm or abdominal wall may fail to properly fuse, allowing the abdominal organs to protrude.
Children affected by trisomy usually have a range of birth defects, including delayed development and intellectual disabilities.
Common birth defects of the urinary system include hypospadias, obstructive defects of the renal pelvis and renal agenesis.
CAH is a fairly uncommon genetic disorder, but it is well understood and treatment is readily available.
Around 95 per cent of babies born with developmental dysplasia of the hip can be successfully treated.
The World Health Organization recommends that pregnant women should avoid alcohol.
The vitamin folate can prevent up to 70 per cent of spina bifida cases, if taken daily one month before conception and daily during the first three months of pregnancy.
Treacher Collins syndrome is a genetic disorder that affects growth and development of the head, causing facial defects and hearing loss.