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Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Recap from IFM 1, Reproductive Health


Examining the nuchal translucency of a fetus
For IFM1 folks, hopefully you all enjoyed the interactive component of lecture today. Being able to hear the stories of former patients and their experiences are important as you grow as physicians. 

Today nuchal translucency was discussed in class when we were taking about access fluid being around the neck of a growing fetus. During an ultrasound, the thickness of the nuchal translucency is measured to determine if it is normal. All fetuses have some fluid, but an abnormal amount can indicate a genetic abnormality. Downs Syndrome is one of the most common.

For the visual learners:
The left displays a normal level of thickness. Notice the small arrow
on the right picture indicating the access fluid around a fetus' neck. 
When the mother will be about 35 or older at the time she will give birth, if there is family history of birth defects or if the mother has had previous pregnancies or births with defects, the fetus is at greater risk. Of course along with these, there are other factors that can cause birth defects. Therefore it is important to know the medical and social background of both the mother and the father to help determine which reproductive options work best for them.



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