What Causes Heart Defects in Fetus

What Causes Heart Defects in Fetus


Causes of Heart Defects in Fetus

Heart defects are one of the most dangerous conditions in fetuses. They trigger many fears in moms. However, it is important to understand that modern therapies help to minimize all possible threats.

The main reasons leading to the development of this pathology are as follows:

The Presence of a Heart Defect in Next-of-kin

  • This factor greatly increases the likelihood of the pathology development in the baby. Moreover, the risk of inheriting the heart defect from the mother is seven times higher than from the father.
  • It is also important to note that the presence of this disease in the pregnant woman threatens both her and her baby’s health.
  • The situation is particularly dangerous if the mother already has children with heart defects. If you do not eliminate the cause, the situation could repeat.

The Impact of External Factors

  • They include poor environmental conditions, contact with chemical products, exposure to x-rays.
  • Even if a woman will try to anticipate the impact of the mentioned factors, still the risks of heart defect development in the baby is still very high! Even a one radiography conducted before 8 weeks of pregnancy substantially increases the risk of such abnormalities occurrence.

Chronic Illness

heart defect in fetus

  • Insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus in the expectant mother poses high threats on the baby. It significantly increases not only the risks of defects occurrence, but even the possibility of childbearing.
  • If a woman with this disease still wants to become a mother, she has to make a decision on the form of delivery. In some cases, the delivery is stimulated on the 33d week of gestation.

In such situations, a child is born immature, underweight. His life and health are threatened.

Bad Habits in the Expectant Mother

Alcohol, drugs, cigarettes affect the fetal development. Today, more women tend to have bad habits, that’s why the number of heart defects in children progresses.

Use of Certain Drugs

  • Such drugs include antibiotics, tranquillizers, antiviral agents. The intake of such substances is especially dangerous during the first trimester of pregnancy.
  • Women who have long time been treated for infertility are in the risk group. Those who have undergone in vitro fertilization are also running a risk.
  • The fact is that they have to take large amounts of hormonal drugs and antiviral medications, which can affect the health of the future baby.

Infectious Diseases in Women

  • Such pathologies as ureaplasma, leucoplasma, herpes virus or coxsackievirus, cytomegalovirus are dangerous for the baby’s health. During long periods of time, a woman maybe unaware of having a virus, as it may go asymptomatic.
  • You need to make special tests to detect the infection. However, viruses are very numerous, you simply can’t exclude each of them. For example, Coxsackievirus may manifest in different ways. It’s impossible to conduct a full-fledge examination at the gynecologist. This infection often has disastrous consequences.
  • Viral pathology often provoke dire consequences, because they may affect the critical period of the heart formation in the fetus. If this occurs during cell differentiation, there is a risk of dangerous anatomical irregularities in the body structure.

All of the mentioned above factors occur frequently, that’s why 30 % of heart defects accounts for inborn abnormalities. The rate of mortality remains high enough – every 15 children from 10000 die. There is also a big likelihood that a baby with such a diagnosis will become handicap.

Video: Congenital heart defects for pediatrics.