Intrauterine Growth Restriction (IUGR)

What is IUGR?

IUGR stands for intrauterine growth restriction and simply means that the unborn baby has not grown to a size that is expected for a certain stage of pregnancy. In other words the fetus is smaller than expected. The more correct medical definition is a fetal weight below the 10th percentile for gestational age as measured on ultrasound. It is also known as small for gestational age (SGA).

This can occur for any number of reasons and sometimes the baby may appear smaller in size on ultrasound but is actually a normal size when born. It is also possible that some babies are just naturally smaller in size. The problem is when the babies smaller size is due to some impairment while it is growing in the uterus thereby preventing the fetus from growing to its natural size.

Types of IUGR

There are broadly two types of IUGR.

  • Symmetric IUGR means thats the entire body and organs are smaller in size. Therefore the baby’s body is in proportion but smaller than would be expected.
  • Assymetric IUGR is where the head and brain are normal in size but the abdomen and limbs may be smaller than normal. This can occur when the body starts shunting more blood to the head and brain to maintain its normal growth but at the expense of other organs.

Assymetric IUGR is more commonly seen than symmetric IUGR. It may not be a permanent defect and after birth the proportions of different body parts may gradually return to normal. It is difficult to establish assymetric IUGR until the latter half of pregnancy when the baby’s body should be growing proportionally.

Causes of IUGR

There are number of different causes of IUGR. One of the main reasons why it occurs is due to insufficient oxygen supply to the baby. Often this is related to placental problems. The growth of different body parts are dependent on its oxygen supply as much as it is determined by nutrients and hormones. If there is inadequate oxygen then the tissue growth will be restricted to a size that can be sustained by the existing oxygen supply. IUGR is therefore commonly seen in multiple births, like twins or triplets, where the mother’s body cannot cope with the oxygen requirements of the babies.

However, IUGR may also occur for a host of other causes. Sometimes it may arise with a placenta that matures too early for the respective stage of pregnancy. It can also occur in mothers who smoke, drink alcohol or abuse prescription medication or use illicit drugs during pregnancy. IUGR may also arise with chronic hypertension (mother) and preeclampsia. Some genetic defects can also cause IUGR. Severe malnutrition may also contribute to IUGR as well as certain infections such as rubella, syphilis and toxoplasmosis during pregnancy. Women who are underweight prior to falling pregnant may also be at risk.

Treatment of IUGR

There is no specific treatment for IUGR. Mothers are usually advised to eat well and have plenty of bed rest. By reducing the mother’s demand for oxygen through resting, more oxygenated blood can reach the baby. Cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption should be strictly avoided during pregnancy but if the mother is still persisting with these habits, then she has to stop immediately to not further worsen the condition. Depending on the types of prescription medication used, a doctor may decide that it should be discontinued during the pregnancy so as not to affect the fetus. However, prescription medication should not be stopped unless the doctor advises it.



More Related Topics

Related pages

nausea burping after eatingspitting yellow phlegmmenstrual blood is dark brownwhat causes boobs to growpoop with mucusskin infection impetigopain between ribs right sidewhat is the cause of anus itchingyoung viginalower abdominal distensiondiscolored period bloodthin bowel movementstreatment for lymph node infectionurge to defecatewhat is pyogenic granulomasyphilis dischargecauses for lymph node swelling in necklymph glands in neck locationliquid discharge after intercourserupture of appendixsecretions in pregnancypain in mid abdomen right sidepains in lower stomach in menacne in scalpvagina smells like periodblood in stool lower abdominal painoveractive bowelsscalp ringworm shampoodiarrhea gas nauseamy upper lip is twitching what does it meansymptoms of gnorrheareasons for menstrual spottingcan being sick affect your periodnose tingling sensationheat rash on breast pictureswhat is a uterine polypladies groinacidic taste in mouth symptomsulfur burps diarrhea stomach painsharp pain in right side of chest when lying downenlarged nipples before periodsensitive and sore nippleswhat are the symptoms of appendix burstingpopped a ribhealthy fingernail colorcauses of dark green stoolnicotine cause diarrheawhat causes stomach gurgling soundsperioral eczemalower tailbone painhow to conceive naturally with pcosstinky vagina picsmild case of ringworm picturesbrown discharge not pregnant on birth controlnasopalatine duct cyst symptomsorgans in umbilical regioneczema in groin picturesbone above coccyxlymph nodes itchy neckgreasy stoolsnarrow poopfungal skin infection groinibs sudden diarrheaorgans under the left rib cagewhat is an itchy throatwhat causes bad smell from viginaleft collarbone paincows life expectancyitchy patchy rashtounge is numbiud brown dischargetoo much burping problemwhy do you throw up green bilesymptoms of infected lymph nodes in groinorgans in the quadrants of the abdomenincomplete bowel evacuationsigns symptoms of benign fasciculation syndromeabdominal spasmsmelly vagina remedies