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Researchers believe a teratogen can affect a developing fetus about 10 to14 days after conception. The best way to reduce the risk of exposure to teratogens during pregnancy is to avoid taking ...


A teratogen is any agent that causes an abnormality following fetal exposure during pregnancy. Teratogens are usually discovered after an increased prevalence of a particular birth defect. For example, in the early 1960’s, a drug known as thalidomide was used to treat morning sickness. Exposure of the fetus during this early stage of development resulted in cases of phocomelia, a congenital ...


Some teratogens are dangerous throughout a pregnancy and some are dangerous only at specific points of embryonic development. The only safe course of action is to actively avoid known teratogens before and during pregnancy. The list below is not all inclusive but does list some well known and dangerous agents that are proven teratogens.


The central nervous system is the baby's brain and spine. One teratogen that affects the central nervous system is alcohol. Alcohol, at any time during the pregnancy, has the potential to cause birth defects and health problems in the baby, since the central nervous system is sensitive to teratogens the entire nine months of gestation.


A teratogen is most often a chemical or infectious agent in the environment that a mother may be exposed to during pregnancy. Common teratogens include medications, drugs, alcohol, secondhand smoke, or infections. Identifying teratogens helps prevent exposure during pregnancy, aiding in preventing malformations. A teratogen must be able to ...


The four most common teratogens are tobacco, alcohol, medications and illegal drugs. Teratogens are substances that could harm a developing fetus by affecting growth and causing birth defects or death. The use of tobacco during pregnancy is dangerous because the smoke causes the blood vessels to constrict.


avoid using all medications during the first 8 weeks after conception unless there is a strong medical reason. Effects of teratogens during this period of developmental often times results in an “all or none effect.” That is, the effect of the teratogen, if it is to have any effect, will be so profound as to cause a spontaneous abortion.


The use of opioid drugs, such as heroin or methadone, during pregnancy can lead to fetal growth restriction, premature birth, and low birth weight. Cocaine use is known to cause numerous problems during pregnancy. These include miscarriage, fetal growth restriction, and problems with the development of the urinary system or genital tract.


Teratogens affect growth and development of the baby. The effect of the teratogen depends on the specific substance and how much exposure has occurred. Common teratogens include alcohol, tobacco, illegal drugs and medications. Alcohol should be avoided in pregnancy. The effect on the baby depends on how much alcohol is consumed.


Exposure to alcohol any time during pregnancy will affect the baby’s brain. The harmful effects of alcohol vary with the stage of pregnancy and the amount consumed on each occasion. However, research does show that all types of alcoholic beverages have the same negative effects during pregnancy and no amount has proven to be safe.