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congenital defects

Q: I am blessed with a son who has congenital defects. These are undescended testes, six fingers in right hand and unequal eyes. Ultrasound for correctness of internal organs has shown no other defects, i.e. urinary tract, kidney, and heart are OK. APGAR scoring at the time of birth was 10/10. Baby is taking normal feeds (mothers milk). Weight at birth was 3.25 kg; delivery through Caesarian section was done last month (before labour pain came because of breech position); my first son (5 year old) does not have any such defects. My marriage cannot be called a close one, rather it is very distant. No history of such defects in either side of the family. Drugs taken within 15-20 days of pregnancy - FLAGYL IV, AMPICILIN 500 x thrice x 2 days, FUROXONE thrice x 2 days because of acute diarrhoea ; no other drug taken during pregnancy; stress level during pregnancy was high because of deaths of two young relatives. No history of miscarriage. I am worried about mental development of the child? Do these defects affect mental development? If yes, how and what can I do? If not, can he marry normally and have kids?

A:You have raised several issues. Whenever there are multiple abnormalities, developmental problems are always a concern. There is nothing you can do to make things better. What your baby will need is very close monitoring for developmental milestones. In case, a delay in development is noted, then supportive measures can be instituted. However, you must realise that there are more chances that your baby will have no such defect. You have not mentioned whether the undescended testes are on one or both sides. In any case this will need correction at about one year of age. Fertility is not a major issue in case of one side undescended testis. In case of both sides, fertility is reduced by about 25%.

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