Congenital disorders are deformities or birth defects that exist at birth or in a developing foetus. Birth defects can be due to different causes and symptoms. Congenital disorders are treated with medication and surgery if necessary. Congenital malformation can happen due to abnormal tissue development. Deformation can occur due to mechanical stress to normal tissue and can occur in the second or third trimester of pregnancy. Some of the other congenital defects include, congenital heart diseases and the nervous system, kidney and urinary tract. These defects can be bilateral or unilateral and different defects can co-exist in an individual child. The causes of congenital disorders are several. Apart from disorders due to consanguineous marriage, issues like consumption of alcohol by the mother during pregnancy can cause various disorders. Excessive smoking can also cause foetal disorders. Substances whose toxicity can cause congenital defects known as teratogens include recreational drugs during pregnancy. Prenatal exposure to teratogenic substances can lead to birth defects. The most fatal among teratogenic drugs is thalidomide and it was withdrawn after several children were born with defects after the mothers were prescribed this drug. Similarly, drugs like tetracycline are never prescribed to women in reproductive age due to the negative effects on bone mineralization. Some environmental toxic substances too can cause birth defects. Chlorinated water, fluoride in water and nitrate in water can also be toxic for expectant mothers and lead to congenital disorders at birth.
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