Intrauterine Growth Retardation
Alternate Names : Low Birth Weight, Small for Gestational Age, Dysmaturity, Intrauterine Growth Restriction
Intrauterine growth retardation, or IUGR, is a condition in which a fetus grows at
a slower rate than expected.
What is going on in the body?
There are expected ranges of growth for a fetus at a given gestational age. The
growth of a fetus depends on the health and nutrition of the mother and the
health of the fetus. IUGR may occur if the health of the placenta or its blood
supply is impaired. IUGR may also occur if the mother's nutrition, health, or
lifestyle prevents a healthy pregnancy.
What are the causes and risks of the disease?
Women with certain conditions may be more likely to have a child with IUGR.
These conditions include the following:
placental insufficiency, which
leads to poor nutrition of the fetus
multiple pregnancies, such as twins
IUGR in a previous pregnancy
high blood pressure
severe kidney disease
poor weight gain in pregnancy
preeclampsia or eclampsia, which
are complications of pregnancy causing high
blood pressure in the mother
exposure to high altitudes
severe inflammatory bowel disease
or ulcerative colitis
alcohol dependence or abuse
TORCH infections, a set of
infectious diseases that can harm the fetus if the mother is infected during her pregnancy
poor nutrition in the mother
congenital or chromosome abnormalities in the fetus
recurrent bleeding, such as placenta
previa, a condition in which the placenta implants over or near the opening of
blood disorders, such as sickle cell
anemia or thalassemia
small stature in the mother
placenta abruptio, which is a
premature separation of the placenta from the uterine wall