Diagnosis of Environmental Birth Defects

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Dr. Trupti Shirole
Medically Reviewed by The Medindia Medical Review Team  on Sep 26, 2014
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Diagnosis of Environmental Birth Defects

Environmental birth defects can be diagnosed with the help of -

  • Ultrasound Testing (USG) - 50% of abnormalities can be detected before birth with the help of USG.
  • Blood Tests - Triple test (measures the levels of alpha-fetoprotein, human chorionic gonadotrophin and oestriol in the mother's blood).
  • Amniocentesis Used in the diagnosis of chromosomal abnormalities and fetal infections. A sample of the amniotic fluid surrounding the baby is taken. Nature of the fluid and cells in the fluid are analyzed.
  • Chorionic Villus Sampling- It involves testing a small sample of tissue from part of the placenta.

Prior detection of abnormalities during the gestational period ensures better preparation at the time of birth. Doctors can be ready to carry out emergency procedures if the condition is life threatening.

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I am very interested in research into the FAS and FASD developing in babies from the paternal side. I have read in literature from USA that binge drinking young males could damage the sperm count enough to father children with FAS or FASD even if the mother does not drink whilst pregnant. Is there any UK research on this subject?

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