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Androgenic Agents

synthetic progestins - used during
pregnancy to prevent abortion.
 Ethisterone
 norethisterone
- cases of masculinization of the
genitalia in female embryos have
been reported.
- The abnormalities consist of an
enlarged clitoris associated with
varying degrees of fusion of the
labioscrotal folds.

Endocrine disrupters
exogenous agents that interfere
with the normal regulatory actions
of hormones controlling
developmental processes.
 interfere with the action of
estrogen through its receptor to
cause developmental
abnormalities of the central
nervous system and reproductive
 Diethylstilbestrol (DES)
- synthetic estrogen
- prevent abortion, raised the
of carcinomas of the
vagina and cervix in women exposed
to the drug in utero.
-Cause reproductive dysfunction
caused in
part by congenital
malformations of the
uterine tubes, and upper vagina.
-Male embryos exposed in utero :
increase in malformations of the
testes and
abnormal sperm
analysis among these individuals.
-In contrast to women, however,
men do not demonstrate an increased
risk of developing carcinomas of the
genital system.

Environmental estrogens
 Decreasing sperm
 Testicular cancer
 Hypospadias
 central nervous
system abnormalities
(masculinization of
female brains and
feminization of male

Oral Contraceptives Birth control
 Contain:

appear to have a low teratogenic
hormones such as DES produce
abnormalities, however, use of
oral contraceptives should be
discontinued if pregnancy is

cortisone injected into mice and
rabbits at certain stages of
pregnancy causes a high
percentage of cleft palates in the
Taken during pregnancy are at a
modestly increased risk for having
a child with an orofacial cleft.

Pregnancy are at a modestly
increased risk for having a child
with an orofacial cleft.

Disturbances in carbohydrate
metabolism during pregnancy in
diabetic mothers cause a high
incidence of:

neonatal deaths
abnormally large infants
congenital malformations.

Factors responsible for these
abnormalities have not been
delineated, although evidence
suggests that altered glucose
levels play a role and that insulin
is not teratogenic.
control of maternal glucose levels
beginning before conception and
continuing throughout gestation
reduces the occurrence of
malformations to incidences
approaching those in the general
the onset of gestational diabetes
is believed to be after the critical
period for inducing structural birth
defects (3 to 8 weeks gestation)

Nutritional Deficiencies endemic cretinism   caused by iodine deficiency characterized by stunted mental and physical growth methyl-deficient diets  alter expression of imprinted genes and may result in birth defects and diseases. Heavy Metals Mercury  Japan: mothers with diets consisting mainly of fish had given birth to children with multiple neurological symptoms resembling cerebral palsy. no increase in the incidence of congenital malformations has been noted.containing fingicide fed to hogs whose meat was eaten by women who are pregnant displayed similar findings  Iraq: same were seen after pregnant mothers ate rice treated with mercury containing fungicide . but it was not diagnosed. children born at relatively high altitudes are usually lighter in weight and smaller than those born near or at sea level. women with cyanotic cardiovascular disease often give birth to small infants but usually without gross congenital malformations. Phenylketonuria: Mothers with phenylketonuria (PKU)    phenylalanine hydroxylase is defi cient or reduced Resulting in increased serum concentrations of phenylalanine. and multiple congenital anomalies. omphalocele.  also increases the risk for having a baby with a heart defect. some investigators have suggested that any observed increased risk may be due to the fact that some women diagnosed with gestational diabetes probably had diabetes before pregnancy.  associated with a twofold increased risk for having a child with a neural tube defect. such as cancer postnatally. poor maternal nutrition prior to and during pregnancy  contributes to low birth weight and birth defects and that severe starvation during pregnancy is associated with a two to threefold increase in schizophrenia in the offspring. Obesity Hypoxia    induces congenital malformations in a great variety of experimental animals. Women with PKU who maintain their low-phenylalanine diet prior to conception and throughout pregnancy reduce the risk to their infants to that observed in the general population.  Further examination revealed that the fi sh contained an abnormally high level of organic mercury  United States: corn sprayed with mercury . and cardiac defects. microcephaly. are at risk for having infants with intellectual disability.

Lead  Associated with increased abortions   Growth retardation Neurological disorders .